Lahaina Harbor improvements focus on pedestrians


LAHAINA, Maui — A plan to revitalize the area around Maui’s Lahaina Harbor will focus on pedestrians, with improvements to sidewalks, lighting, benches and native plants, organizers said.

Maui County gave $750,000 earlier this year to the Lahaina Restoration Foundation for the projects, The Maui News reported Tuesday.

Pedestrians are the priority because they use the harbor area the most despite it not being designed that way, foundation Executive Director Theo Morrison said.

He says the improvements won’t shut down any streets.

“The completion of this project will bring reverence to important cultural sites, educate residents and visitors about Lahaina’s history, dramatically improve the appearance and safety of the harbor front and will spur economic activity in the surrounding area,” Morrison said.

The group is working on planning, design and permitting, with construction set to begin in July 2015, Morrison said. A second phase of the project would cost an additional $1.5 million and include wider sidewalks and a promenade.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources said last month it plans to build a new ferry pier north of the existing harbor. Construction is not planned until 2017.

Maui Mayor Alan Arkawa said he’s happy the projects will complement Lahaina’s history.

“It simultaneously improves the experience for the visitor and allows us to tell the story of Lahaina with improved signage, landscaping and a historical walking tour,” Arkawa said.