Pohoiki Boat Ramp Restoration After 2018 Kīlauea Eruption to Cost Millions

Restoration of a widely-used boat ramp at Pohoiki Bay, in the Puna District of Hawai‘i island, blocked by new sand during the 2018 Puna lava eruption is estimated to take between nine months and six or more years, and cost between $2.5 and $28 million, the State Land of Board and Natural Resources heard during a briefing on Friday. 

Finn McCall, engineer for the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation presented three options for reopening the ramp (detailed below). The fastest is also the least costly, though less permanent. 

Excavation and Dredging

  • Removal of apx. 15,000 cubic yards of sand by dredging or excavation 
  • Placement of sand back on the beach 
  • Estimated construction cost of $2.5 million 
  • Construction timeline: approximately 9 months 

Entrance Channel Improvements 

  • Follow-up to dredging and excavation 
  • Installation of permanent structures to protect entrance channel 
  • New swim area 
  • Estimated construction cost of $6 million 
  • Construction timeline: 2-3 years 

New Boat Ramp Facility 

  • New ramp on new lava flow on the north side of the bay 
  • Construction of new breakwater, boat ramp, loading dock, trailer turn around & parking area 
  • Estimated construction cost: $28 million 
  • Construction timeline: 5-6 years + 

All of the options require varying levels of regulatory environmental review and all are dependent on funding. DOBOR plans to apply for a funding match from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which might contribute 75 percent of the construction cost. 

The presentation was for informational purposes only and the Land Board did not take any action. 

Image: Pohoiki Bay aerials (Courtesy: Dane DuPont/Hawaii Tracker)

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