State reconsiders Pier 2 improvement project
|||Hawai'i's next cruise ship unveiled|
By Mike Leidemann
Advertiser Transportation Writer
The state has shelved a $16 million plan to improve cruise ship facilities at Honolulu's Pier 2, saying it is no longer needed.
The bankruptcy of American Hawai'i Cruises, which operated the cruise ships Independence and Patriot, has opened berthing space at Piers 9 and 10, adjacent to the Aloha Tower Marketplace, making the Pier 2 improvements less pressing, said Fred Nunes, head of the engineering branch of the Department of Transportation's Harbor Division.
Earlier this year the state proposed spending up to $2 million to design and $14 million to build a 52,000-square-foot, full-service passenger terminal at Pier 2, at the foot of South Street. Many cruise ships used the pier when the Aloha Tower facility was unavailable.
Plans included construction of an interior terminal and a second-level concourse, with gangways, ticket counters, office space, customs area and restrooms, as well as utility and parking improvements.
The state had completed about 35 percent of the project's planning, but had not started construction.
"We're re-evaluating the need for the project," Nunes told members of the state's Committee on Transportation. "We don't know when this will be built now."
More than $8 million of improvements to cruise ship facilities in Hilo and Nawiliwili harbors remain on schedule, he said.
Nunes said other cruise lines remain interested in Hawai'i. Norwegian Line Cruises plans to start regular weekly cruises of Hawai'i next month, and other cruise ships are considering moving some of their Mediterranean-based ships to Hawai'i, he said.