$24.5M in stimulus funds will help rebuild Pier 29


POSTED: Thursday, February 18, 2010

The federal government is pumping $24.5 million in stimulus funds into reconstructing Honolulu's Pier 29 as the state is modernizing its harbors, state Transportation Director Brennon Morioka says.

The grant, freeing up state funds for other projects, is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which marked its first year on Saturday.

U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka said the act is helping Hawaii's economy.

The state has pulled in $262 million in “;shovel ready”; federal stimulus funds, Inouye said, with hundreds of millions on the way in the future.

Two years ago, Pier 29 sustained structural pavement damage from heavy loads, forcing the relocation of Aloha Cargo Transport to Pier 1.

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The move resulted in congestion because Matson Navigation Co. and Nippon Yusen Kaisha Line are based at Piers 1 and 2.

In a news briefing, Morioka said the project will include pavement reconstruction to withstand heavier containers and equipment. It also will provide 12 acres of cargo capacity for Aloha Cargo at Pier 29, increase efficiency of cargo operations for Matson and Nippon Yusen Kaisha and possibly lower the consumer costs for goods.

The federally funded project also will generate jobs.

Eighty percent of all goods are imported into Hawaii, said Michael Formby, state deputy director for harbors, in a news release. Four sites at Honolulu Harbor handle the bulk of incoming cargo.

Bids for the Pier 29 reconstruction project are currently under review. Construction is slated to begin this summer.