The State Department of Transportation held a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday to unveil the completion of the Kaunakakai Harbor improvements.
When local meetings were held on the improvements two years ago, the project was estimated to cost $5 million and take one year to complete. Now, two years and $9.1 million later, the project is finished. The Federal Transit Administration funded 80 percent of the project with 20 percent coming from state funds.
The harbor now has a modernized facility with an expanded passenger waiting area, upgraded restroom facilities, and a larger parking lot that allows for better traffic flow.
“The Kaunakakai Harbor facility is now more comfortable for ferry passengers and also safer due to the installation of a modern fire suppression system,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie.
Improvements include a new and reliable fire protection system as well as an upgraded sewage system that replaces the need for the former septic tank.
To promote safety and efficient operations between ferry passenger operations and the commercial barge operations, a portion of the commercial harbor pier has been rehabilitated to allow for extra space between operations.