Ewa Community Worries About HCDA’s Kalaeloa Electric Project


Many Ewa town residents are concerned about preserving historical and cultural sites on the Ewa plain.  At the Ewa Neighborhood Board meeting, June 10, 2014, they listened to Tesh Malama, Hawaii Community Development Authority representative, talk about the Kalaeloa East Energy Corridor Project. This project replaces and upgrades the existing electrical communication distribution system within a corridor along the eastern boundary of Kalaeloa Community Development District. The main points of the proposal are:

  • Replacing existing U.S. Navy distribution lines along Essex Road, ending at Coral Sea Road and Tripoli Street.
  • A draft environmental assessment (EA), cultural impact statement, and archaeological survey have been completed.
  • U.S. Navy requires project be done in phases.
  • New poles will allow for future option of installing a 46kV line (not found in present plans).
  • Project will not affect the Marine airfield.
  • Ewa and Kapolei-Kalaeloa Neighborhood Boards will receive information on historical sites listed in EA after it is published.
  • Malama intends to report to the board with follow-up information.

John Bond, Ewa historian, reports that the different recommendations found in the 2011 and 2014 HCDA project plans are questionable. The 2014 plan advocates above the ground power lines, while the older study recommends underground installation. Bond also informed the board about several underground plans that do not heed the 2014 recommendation:

  • HCDA Kalaeloa Master Plan calls for underground utility installations.
  • U.S. Coast Guard segment must be underground.
  • Honolulu city code calls for underground installations.
  • Coral Sea Road underground hookup to Hawaiian Electric Company has already been installed.

Bond believes that the underground solution, although less expensive, will ultimately cost more because of future occurrences such as accidents, outages, and maintenance. Bond strongly supports preserving ancient Hawaiian underground burial caves (karsts) in the area.


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