Waianae boaters upset as pier goes unrepaired months after collapse


Frustration continues for boaters at Waianae Boat Harbor.

The pier that collapsed nearly eight months ago remains underwater. A viewer told us to check into it through the Report It feature on our website.

We’ve been following the story since the pier collapsed, and when we spoke with state officials in May, they said work would begin by August at the latest.

But when we went back there Friday, we found nothing much has changed since our last story aired.

Boaters have managed to work around the problem thanks to a bit of creativity.

It’s a short but shaky ride for boaters who have their slips at what’s known as the Alpha Pier. Ever since the middle of the pier disappeared into the water, the only way to get back on dry land is by pulling themselves on a small, unsteady raft.

“Most of my crew has fallen in at least one time,” said boater Kevin Winchester. “It’s rickety, but we’re happy to have it. It’s better than nothing, otherwise we’d be swimming out to our boats or maybe even paddleboarding.”

Boaters are upset because they’re still paying the fees to use the pier and all the services that go with it. It’s now been more than seven months and it’s still not the way it’s supposed to be.

“I have no more shore power, so if my batteries go bad or get depleted, I actually have to hoist them out and bring them across the raft over here to charge them up,” said Winchester. “It’s not optimum in any way.”

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources told us back in May that it was waiting for a permit issued by the Department of Health. We then learned that the permit had already been issued the month before, but repairs could not start yet because the contractor was waiting for materials to be shipped from the mainland. DLNR then told us that work will begin by August at the latest.

We went to the office to find out why it still hasn’t started. A spokeswoman emailed us a statement late Friday afternoon saying there is a high demand in the state for precast concrete channels, the materials needed to fix the pier. The supplier has a backlog of other orders. She added that the state is competing for locally produced materials, which are more affordable.

Boaters are hoping that the wait doesn’t go on much longer.

“The sooner the better for everybody it is difficult it’s an unsafe situation for us to be going across there it limits what we’re able to do,” said Winchester.

It’s not known when the state can get the materials, but the contract calls for the work to be finished by March 16, 2017.

DLNR says the contractor will be able to complete the project by then.

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