Replacement to crumbling dock in East Honolulu deemed unsafe, too

The collapsed dock at the Maunalua Bay boat ramp in Hawaii Kai.
The collapsed dock at the Maunalua Bay boat ramp in Hawaii Kai.(Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Feb. 25, 2019 at 6:15 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly two months after officials with the Department of Land and Natural Resources condemned a popular loading dock in East Oahu because it was unsafe, the structure collapsed into the ocean.

Now, the replacement dock that was planned as a temporary stop-gap has been deemed unusable — because of more safety-related concerns.

Large tires chained to bull rails now line the sides of the Maunalua Bay boat ramp to protect boats and other vessels and to help people load and unload safely. But those who use this dock say it’s a huge headache.

"This is probably the wealthiest part on O’ahu and we have the worst boat ramp, so it’s kind of a disappointment,” said fisherman Michael Kato.

Officials said DLNR paid $2,300 for parts to install temporary floating docks for boaters to use. Those platforms apparently sat too low in the water, making getting on and off of them unsafe and rendering them unusable for liability concerns.

In addition, they said in order to clear rocks in shallow water, the floating platforms would need to extend several feet further out from the rock wall. This would require installation of some kind of gangway, which likely would not work because of the changing tides, surges from waves, and wind action.

So in the meantime, users of the dock will just have to make do.

"Was an inconvenience for the first couple of days, maybe first couple of weeks. But we made do with what we had available to us and unloading and unloading on this side is not ideal, but it's still easy,” said Shaun Schuster, manager at Aaron's Dive Shop.

“We just have to just be more careful,” added boater Jerome Brash. “Don’t hit the wall, and hopefully it gets fixed fast.”

DLNR officials said it could take up to a year to finish because of a lack in funding. They said money for the new loading dock would have to be added to it’s budget that won’t be approved until June, so the earliest construction could take place is in September.

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