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Major upgrades at Honolulu Harbor are largely on schedule

FILE - Shipping containers at Honolulu Harbor.
Sophia McCullough
Hawaiʻi Public Radio
FILE - Shipping containers at Honolulu Harbor.

Major upgrades to Honolulu Harbor are underway — and largely keeping to schedule.

The state Department of Transportation is currently working on Phase 2 of its Kapalama Container Terminal project, or KCT. This nearly $353 million project broke ground in March 2021 and is now about 35% complete, according to DOT officials.

Phase 2 will create about 1,800 additional feet of berthing capacity for Honolulu Harbor.

The work also includes dredging the waterfront and harbor channel, and widening the areas between Piers 40 and 41 to accommodate larger interisland vessels.

DOT is also rebuilding Piers 41, 42 and 43, and making improvements to support roll-on/roll-off cargo operations.

The project is likely to wrap up in April 2024, just a few months later than originally planned.

Niko Salvador, engineering program manager in the Harbors Division, says that unexpected levels of coral overgrowth were found, something that requires federal approval to mitigate.

Phase 1, with a cost of $174 million, was completed on schedule and on budget.

The contractor for both phases has been Kiewet. The half-billion KCT improvements are meant to thoroughly modernize the facility for container handling for the next 50 to 75 years, and are part of a statewide effort to upgrade multiple harbors.

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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