homepage logo

Work on new concrete ferry pier at Lahaina Harbor set to begin April 5

By Staff | Apr 2, 2021

This 3D rendering map provided by the state Department of Land & Natural Resources shows the proposed Lahaina Harbor ferry pier improvements.

LAHAINA — Construction is slated to begin April 5 on a new concrete ferry pier at the state Department of Land & Natural Resources’ Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation’s (DOBOR) Lahaina Small Boat Harbor.

The new concrete ferry pier — 20 feet wide by 115 feet long — will be located 70 feet out from the north face of the existing harbor pier.

Other improvements include a new aluminum-framed gangway (15 feet wide by 70 feet long) connecting the ferry pier to the existing pier, demolition of the existing harbor office and construction of a new harbor administration office.

New concrete pavement on the pier deck and along Wharf Street, as well as new bollards and striping, will also be part of the project.

According to DLNR, while portions of the existing pier will be closed at various stages, this project has been phased carefully so that commercial operators and the existing Lanai ferry will be able to operate without any interruption of service.

When cruise ships return to Lahaina, construction will be halted during all cruise ship days, and ferry/commercial operations will be able to continue uninterrupted.

The state’s position is this project won’t impact the popular surfing spot on the north side of the harbor channel.

Surfers usually access the surf break by walking down stairs into the ocean a short distance from the existing pier and lighthouse.

DLNR Communications Specialist AJ McWhorter clarified that “the surfer stairs is not our jurisdiction, and surfers never had permission to access the surf break through the harbor.”

DOBOR Engineer Finn McCall explained, “At this time, access to the surf break (from the existing stairs on the sea wall) will not be closed, but it is strongly discouraged due to safety reasons.”

According to McCall, most of the concerns raised by the public during the Environmental Impact Statement process involved reducing the size of the project as much as possible.

“The original design concept was for a wider pier with a building constructed on it. Concerns were raised regarding view plane obstruction and overall aesthetics. We ended up reducing the project size as minimal as possible with a narrower pier and only a trellis shade structure on it,” he added.

There will be some temporary disruptions to day-to-day boating operations during construction, but the project has been phased to allow for uninterrupted operation of the harbor, he concluded.

The location of the harbor’s entrance channel buoys will remain unchanged.

Healy Tibbitts Builders Inc. is the contractor. The construction cost will be $18,402,406, with an estimated completion in late October 2022.

Lahaina Small Boat Harbor has 16 berths, 83 moorings, loading docks, a fuel facility, restrooms and a harbor office.