Transportation

Kawela Bridge Project Completion

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Kawela Bridge Project Completion

Photo by Bianca Moragne.

There’s good news for drivers who live on the east end as well as residents of the Kawela area: construction on the Kawela Bridge is finally complete.

The former, 70-year-old bridge was deteriorating, and a $6 million construction project began back in 2012 to remove the original bridge and replace it with what you see today.

The old bridge, constructed around 1940, was clogged with stream deposits which impeded the flow of water below the deck, resulting in flooding in neighboring properties, said Project Engineer at Goodfellow Bros., Inc., Clayton Morrell.

Goodfellow Bros., Inc was contracted to remove the old bridge and build a new one in its place with a capacity to handle high volumes of water to pass beneath the roadway and remove stream deposit buildup that migrates down, Morrell said.…

Makani Kai Re-Selected for Kalaupapa Service

Friday, June 20th, 2014

The Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded Makani Kai Air the Essential Air Service (EAS) subsidy to service Molokai’s isolated settlement of Kalaupapa for the next four years.

“Kalaupapa Settlement is thrilled to continue in the Makani Kai ohana and look forward to four more years of excellent on time service as we have enjoyed for the past two years,” said Mark Miller, the Department of Health Kalaupapa administrator.

Makani Kai was originally awarded the Kalaupapa EAS at the end of 2011 for two years, and filed for renewal to continue serving the settlement last year. Mokulele Airlines and two mainland companies also applied.…

Lawsuit Filed in Loretta Fuddy’s Death

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

The brother of former state Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy said in a lawsuit filed last Monday that a faulty engine is to blame for the Makani Kai plane’s ocean landing off Kalaupapa last December that caused his sister’s death.

According to The Associated Press (AP), Lewis Fuddy Jr. is suing engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Canada Corporation over the Dec. 11 crash that killed his sister. The pilot and seven other passengers on the flight survived without major injuries, but Loretta Fuddy died in the water after exiting the sinking Cessna Grand Caravan. Autopsy results concluded she died of cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat, following the crash.…

`Ohana by Hawaiian Adds Maui and Oahu Flights

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

`Ohana by Hawaiian Adds Maui and Oahu Flights

Photo courtesy Hawaiian Airlines

After three months of operations on Molokai, `Ohana by Hawaiian is expanding its flights from Molokai to include a daily flight to Maui and a fourth flight to Honolulu this summer.

Beginning July 8, `Ohana will offer a round trip flight to Kahului, scheduled to depart from Molokai to Maui at 8:33 a.m., and returning from Maui to Molokai at 4:41 p.m. The airline is also adding an additional round trip to Honolulu for the summer period only. Currently operating three flights daily since its launch of Molokai and Lanai services in March, `Ohana will add a flight departing Honolulu for Molokai at 7:45 a.m., and from Molokai to Honolulu at 5:30 p.m.…

Island’s First (Temporary) Stoplight

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Island’s First (Temporary) Stoplight

Molokai’s first stoplight installed at the Kawela Stream Bridge construction site was only directing traffic for two weeks. As of Friday before going to press, Goodfellow Bros. Project Engineer Clayton Morrell said the traffic light is scheduled to be removed on Monday.

“It was only there so we could pave the west-bound lane and shoulder,” said Morrell. “[During that time] we had to shift to one-lane traffic.”

Contractor Goodfellow Bros. is putting the final touches on the state Department of Transportation (DOT) bridge project before scheduled completion at the end of July.

The next big change drivers will notice is a shift in traffic from the curved, detour route to traveling over the new bridge, said Morrell.…

Airlines Vie for Kalaupapa Service

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The competition is becoming fierce between two airlines for the opportunity to serve the Kalaupapa community under a federal contract. Makani Kai and Mokulele airlines are two of the four companies that applied for subsidies to provide regular flights into the small, isolated settlement. In a show of hands last week, 77 out of 78 Kalaupapa residents attending presentations by both airlines voted in strong support of Makani Kai, which has been serving the peninsula for the past two years.

Community members say they appreciate the personalized service that Makani Kai and its owner Richard Schuman provides.

“More than once Richard Schuman always tells me, ‘if anything goes wrong in Kalaupapa, you call me and I will come there myself and pick up the people.’ That’s the kind of person he is,” said patient resident Gloria Marks at a community meeting at Kalaupapa’s McVeigh Hall last Tuesday.…

Pilot Explains West Molokai Accident

Monday, April 14th, 2014

For John Weiser, the pilot whose plane crashed on his west Molokai airstrip on Feb. 27, it was a 1 in 10,000 accident.

“I must have landed on this airstrip more than 10,000 times in the last 30 years with no trouble,” he said, adding that he has more than 20,000 pilot hours logged. “When I came in to land that day, I was off-center. I should have turned around and come back, but instead, I did the turn and when I rolled out, I was in the trees.”

Weiser said his private grass airstrip on his Papohaku property has runway lights, and though some are out, he still lands at night, as he did on Feb.…

Molokai Says Goodbye to Island Air

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

Molokai Says Goodbye to Island Air

On April 1, Island Air took off from Molokai for the last time after the company announced last month that it would end its service to the island. Terry Cole is an air traffic controller on Molokai and snapped this shot from the tower.

“There were quite a few cars parked on the hill waving goodbye, and the pilot expressed his sadness about not coming back,” she said.

Island Air CEO Paul Casey told the Dispatch that the company waited until it was “sure that the residents of Molokai had adequate service” before deciding to “redeploy our aircraft to another route that needs more capacity.”

Island Air had eight full-time and seven part-time employees based on Molokai, the longest of whom has worked for the company more than 25 years, according to Casey.…

Hawaiian Airlines Welcomed Back

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Hawaiian Airlines Welcomed Back

As `Ohana by Hawaiian made its inaugural flight to Molokai, Aunty Kauila Reyes was honored by designer Sig Zane as the inspiration for the plane’s kapa patterns. Photo by Catherine Cluett.

As Hawaiian Airlines officially launched its new service, `Ohana by Hawaiian, to Molokai last week, hundreds of residents and officials celebrated an occasion that for many, felt like a homecoming for the company.

“Molokai has been part of our ohana for the last 85 years,” said Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian Airlines (HA) president and CEO. “For the last 10 years, we have not been able to operate here, but every single one of those days in between we’ve been working on plans to bring this wonderful day to fruition.…

Facts Lacking in West Molokai Plane Crash

Monday, March 10th, 2014

The crash of a small plane on Molokai’s west end on Thursday, Feb. 27 went unreported for days, and information on the event is still missing. Last week, authorities identified the pilot as John Weiser, Jr., owner of Panda Ranch and grass air strip in the Papohaku area.

Weiser was flying a twin-engine Partenavia P68 Observer, reportedly at night, but it is currently unknown whether the crash occurred during take-off or landing, according to Ian Gregor, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Pacific Division public affairs manager. A man who found the damaged aircraft reported it to the FAA on Saturday, March 1.…