Hawaii’s first marine highway named in honor of late US Senator Daniel Akaka

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The late US Senator Daniel Akaka was honored Monday by the state Department of Transportation.

The waterways around and between the Hawaiian Islands have been designated as Marine Highway MH1, and officially named the Daniel K. Akaka Marine Highway.

This is the state’s first marine highway, allowing the DOT to take part in America’s Marine Hgihways Program..which provides federal resources to increase efficiency in moving cargo throughout the state’s commercial harbors.

“Modernizing port infrastructure is expensive, and when a facility is built it usually lasts a good 50 years,” said Lauren Brand of Maritime Administration.  “But facilities built as recently as the 1990s are no longer adequate for today’s ship technologies.

“Dad loved the ocean,” said Millannie Akaka Mattson, Sen. Akaka’s daughter. “He was a sailor. He was a navigator. He sailed the South Pacific before I was born, and he loved it. He used to talk about things that he would happen on the ocean such as things that he saw during the day or during the night.” 

Senator Akaka helped build the pier infrastructure at Honolulu Harbor during his service in the US Army Corps of Engineers in the 1940s.

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