Kauai Won't See Superferry

Judge Randal Valenciano
Judge Randal Valenciano

(KHNL) -- Hawaii Superferry has called off its trip to Kauai next week.

The surprise announcement came Friday night.

The Superferry was set to return to Nawiliwili Harbor next Wednesday. Now, that trip won't happen.

The announcement came right after Governor Lingle's weekly radio address, in which she said service would resume.

But the company says it had to rethink the decision.

They released the following statement Friday night:

"Hawaii Superferry has made the decision that in consideration for the safety of the community, our passengers and our dedicated employees, the resumption of service to Kauai will be delayed to an unspecified future date."

Hawaii Superferry says, the long-term perspective of the company is that a temporary delay serves the community best.

This announcement comes on a day that the Superferry celebrated a victory in court.

Friday morning, a Kauai judge heard arguments from both sides on why the controversial vessel should or should not stop voyages to the Garden Isle while an environmental assessment is in the works.

Judge Randal Valenciano ruled, based on environmental law, it is too late to challenge the Superferry project.

"The decision was made on February 23, 2005. There was a 120 day window to challenge. There was no challenge on Kauai at least within the 120 day period," said Judge Randal Valenciano.

However, the judge ruled part of the lawsuit is still alive.

There will be a hearing next Thursday on a preliminary injunction.

Hawaii Superferry says it's pleased with today's decision and says the company has always complied with the state's rules and regulations.

And Friday night, Governor Linda Lingle's office released a statement saying they think it was a good decision to postpone service next week.

They say they're looking forward to the decision of the Maui and Kauai court cases in the near future.