HDOT NEWS RELEASE: Relocation of UH Marine Center makes way for Kapalama Container Terminal improvements

Posted on Mar 30, 2016 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation, Harbors Division (HDOT), took the next step in making the highly anticipated Kapalama Container Terminal (KCT) a reality.

The Department, along with elected officials and representatives of the University of Hawaii (UH), conducted a blessing and key ceremony to formally convey the newly renovated Pier 35 facility to the UH School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (UH SOEST) on March 30, 2016. The relocation was a vital component of the Harbors Modernization Plan (HMP) that provided for a larger, more flexible berthing area for UH SOEST vessels at Pier 35 and clears the way for the KCT development project to proceed.

HDOT is developing the proposed KCT facility at the former Kapalama Military Reservation (KMR) to address the critical need for new container terminal space and resolve the shortage of cargo handling capacity issues at Hawaii’s busiest commercial harbor. Overall 80 percent of all goods consumed by Hawaii’s residents and visitors are imported, and nearly 99 percent of that comes through the Port Hawaii harbors system.

HDOT broke ground for the UH SOEST project in March 2014 and completed the facility improvements in the Fall of 2015 to accommodate the relocation of UH SOEST program from Snug Harbor as a key component of the statewide HMP development of the new Kapalama Container Terminal.

The $17 million project is an investment in renovating aging harbor facilities.  It involved partial demolition and renovations to the Pier 35 building including construction of a new elevator, stairs, offices, restrooms, air conditioning, fire alarm systems, lighting and electrical improvements.  Exterior facility upgrades included drainage, utility, water, sewer, power and communications improvements, and installed new asphalt and concrete pavement within the project site.  In keeping with the terms of the original lease, UH SOEST will be allowed to utilize this new facility free of charge with the understanding that at the end of the term it will revert to market rent.

Harbor Modernization Program Background

The Harbor Modernization Program is a comprehensive plan to revitalize and upgrade Hawaii’s commercial harbor facilities as a means of effectively managing and operating a statewide commercial harbors system that facilitates the efficient movement of people and goods to, from and between the Hawaiian Islands.  The efficient operations at Hawaii’s port harbors are extremely important to the state’s economy, especially when one considers that 80 percent of all goods consumed in Hawaii are imported and that nearly 99 percent of those goods pass through Hawaii’s commercial harbors.

Click on the hyperlinks below for photos from the event. Courtesy: HDOT

Photo 1: Brian Taylor, UH SOEST Dean; Senator Lorraine Inouye; Darrell Young, HDOT Harbors Division Deputy Director; Kahu Hailama Farden perform the ceremonial untying of the maile lei at the new facility at Pier 35.

Photo 2: Darrell Young, HDOT Harbors Division Deputy Director (right) and Senator Lorraine Inouye hand over the ceremonial key for the new facility to Brian Taylor, HU SOEST Dean.


Tim Sakahara
State of Hawaii Department of Transportation
Public Information Officer
869 Punchbowl Street, Room 504
Honolulu HI 96813-5097
Telephone: (808) 587-2160
Fax: (808) 587-2313