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State says it will take another 2 years to unblock Pohoiki boat ramp

A black sand beach has formed near the Pohoiki Boat Ramp, blocking its entrance (Image: DLNR)
A black sand beach has formed near the Pohoiki Boat Ramp, blocking its entrance (Image: DLNR)
Updated: Apr. 21, 2021 at 9:53 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state said it could be another two years before the Pohoiki boat ramp on Hawaii Island is unblocked.

The state said it plans to dredge the beach that formed around the ramp during the 2018 Kilauea eruption.

To get financial help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state needs to provide an environmental assessment. This could take up to nine months.

The state said designing and permitting would take another nine months. Then, dredging and constructing a new channel will take nine more months.

Although the timeline may seem long, officials said the alternative of creating a new ramp would take even longer.

“We determined that if we were to try and put in brand new harbor or access it would take an inordinate amount of time. About eight years to do study, find a site and then a whole new program for access,” said Robert Masuda, first deputy at the Department of Land and Natural Resources.

“The community folk and leadership all agree that we should focus on getting access in most expeditious way rather than look around and build a whole new access and boat harbor.”

FEMA said it could contribute up to 75% of the of the project’s total cost, which is estimated at $3.5 million.

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