Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Hawaii News

By Dan Nakaso

February 6, 2021

Two bills moving through the state House and Senate would require a new Aloha Stadium to set aside storage space in case disaster strikes Honolulu Harbor, cutting off the state’s shipping lines.

The Aloha Stadium Authority is working to replace the current 50,000-seat stadium in Halawa by 2023. House Bill 1347 and Senate Bill 1336 each would require that the redesign of Aloha Stadium provide reinforced “lay down” space in its parking lot to handle tons of cargo, if needed, following a Honolulu Harbor emergency.

“The purpose of this Act is to charge the stadium authority, through its development guidance policies, with the task of promoting the safety and reliability of harbor infrastructure through a redesigned parking lot, developed to withstand the structural requirements of a permanent shipping container storage and lay down facility for emergency use by Pearl Harbor,” according to language in both bills.

The bills refer to Pearl Harbor, which would be part of the storage response to any number of natural or man-made problems that could strike Honolulu Harbor, “the State’s most important resupply point, with an estimated three thousand tons of food passing through each day,” according to the bills.

“Despite protocols to help safeguard the harbor against a storm, it (Honolulu Harbor) is susceptible to having its entry blocked by large shipping containers, damaged piers, or aging infrastructure,” according to the bills.

Pearl Harbor would serve as a storage backup for any disaster that strikes Honolulu Harbor. But a 2018 test by the U.S. Coast Guard of Pearl Harbor’s capabilities found its capacity limited.

“Other resources are needed if Honolulu harbor’s fragile lifeline is compromised,” according to both bills.

They say that a new Aloha Stadium parking lot would be “ideally suited, both in location and size, to serve as a container storage and lay down facility for emergency use by Pearl Harbor.”

The area below any incoming cargo would be reinforced by a foundation of soils, a second layer of asphalt paving and another layer that could provide both drainage and a slip-proof surface.