LAHAINA - State Rep. Angus McKelvey (D-10, West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei) last week announced that the essential maintenance dredging of Lahaina Harbor has been approved and is moving forward with an expected completion by the end of the year.
According to McKelvey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a conditional permit to begin the emergency maintenance dredging to ensure that the harbor channel - which has been shoaling recently, creating a hazard to boat users - can be cleared starting in May.
"In 2012, when material buildup in the channel caused shoaling and created a danger for maritime traffic, we removed about 6,000 cubic yards of material from both Lahaina Harbor and Mala Wharf," McKelvey said. "Now, to ensure safety and access, we have to dredge the channel again, which is why the Corps of Engineers' approval is so important."
"Because we are merely removing sediment that has been deposited since the last dredging was done, there will be no impact to the surrounding marine environment. Like before, the shallow depth of the harbor was causing safety conditions with large-wave shoaling in the entrance, which creates a dangerous environment for boats coming in and out of the harbor."
The West Maui lawmaker said that the contract processing is currently ongoing, with the time frame for the project's completion estimated at around August of this year.
"I want to thank the state Department of Land and Natural Resources for expeditiously moving forward with this project. Given that this was done before has made it a lot easier. However, I also appreciate the DLNR helping us communicate to the public the specifics of the project," said McKelvey.
Rep. McKelvey will co-host a public hearing with the DNLR and the project engineer to update the community on the specific time frame as well as answer any other questions about the work involved.