(Hoʻolehua, Molokaʻi) – The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, November 19, 2020 to mark the beginning of a $37 million capital improvement project to upgrade the 80-year-old Hoʻolehua Water System on Molokaʻi.
State Representative Lynn DeCoite (Dist. 13 – Molokaʻi), Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) Chairman William J. Ailā, Jr., HHC Molokaʻi Commissioner Zachary Helm, and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Program Loan Specialist Nate Riedel attended the outdoor socially-distanced project start.
The project, funded in part by a $19 million allocation from the USDA, will be built in two phases spanning seven construction sites by contractor Goodfellow Brothers, managed by SSFM International.
Enhancements to the system will include the installation of a 200,000-gallon storage tank, upgrades to automation systems, a new warehouse, and a new emergency generator diesel fuel tank. Other improvements involve new paved roads and fencing, along with the repair and replacement of existing tanks, pumps, transmission mains, laterals, valves, and hydrants.
“Among the four water systems the Department oversees, Hoʻolehua is the oldest and has been in desperate need of repair for some time,” said HHC Chair Ailā. “The project highlights our state and congressional leadership’s understanding of important issues facing our rural communities as this project would not be possible without their initiative.”
The Hoʻolehua Water System serves over 2,400 customers, including approximately 500 homesteads in Hoʻolehua-Palaʻau, Kalamaʻula, and Moʻomomi. Water from this system also provides service to the post office, schools, and the airport.
Construction is expected to take roughly two years to complete. Customers should expect intermittent water outages and construction traffic during regular business hours throughout the project’s duration.