The state Department of Transportation this week is relocating the Hilo Harbor security screening area for cruise ship passengers from inside the Pier 1 Shed to the outside walkway of the pier.
Work on the $53,482 project is set to begin Wednesday, Feb. 22 and is scheduled to be completed by March 13. Tents and utilities will be installed creating a weather-protected area outside the boarding area for the passengers and security staff.
The relocation will allow the DOT to proceed with a reroofing project on the Pier 1 Shed that includes utilities upgrades and other improvements. Work is expected to begin later this year and last about six months.
“The Department of Transportation knows how important the cruise ship industry is to Hilo and all of Hawaii County,” Transportation Director Glenn Okimoto said. “We promise to do everything we can to minimize the disruption to the passengers and harbor operations. The Pier 1 Shed was originally built in 1927 and these renovations are a top priority for the department.”
Two covered walkways were constructed in 2010 along Pier 1 to provide protection from the sun and weather for cruise ship passengers during the shed renovation.
A 462-foot-long walkway is in place for passengers waiting to go through security and board.
A 141-foot-long walkway also provides shelter for passengers from the ship to the pick-up area for tour buses and vans.
The work at Pier 1 is just one of the ongoing projects at Hilo Harbor.
DOT is currently dredging a portion of the harbor to create another approach to Pier 3 and to accommodate ships berthing at the future Pier 4.
The dredging work is expected to be completed in April 2012 and then work will begin on a much needed Cargo Yard, scheduled for completion in 2013. Work on Pier 4 is set to start in March 2013 and will take about a year to complete.
Overall, the projects are expected to provide about $60 million in construction work to the Hilo community and greatly improve harbor capacity, allowing Hilo Harbor to serve the growing needs of Hawaii County for generations to come.