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Governor approves funds for Hilo airport cargo facility


Gov. Neil Abercrombie has released $14 million in airport revenue bonds to finance an incomplete Capital Improvement Project (CIP) at the Hilo International Airport.

Construction of the Hold Cargo Building/Light Industrial Facility began in December 2008 but due to funding limitations the project was reduced.

“We became aware that only part of the project was complete – the Cargo Building was missing,” Abercrombie said. “Based on input from agency officials and community leaders, it is clear that this cargo building is needed to make the freight process more effective for the Big Island community.”

Sen. Gilbert Kahele was actively involved in working with the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to legislatively see this appropriation through.

“I have been working collaboratively with many government agencies to make sure this project got back on track,” Kahele said. “With all the unemployed construction workers around Hilo, it is unacceptable for a project of this size not to be completed.”

The original project scope bid out in 2008 included a cargo building, parking lot, airfield apron and taxiway. In June 2009, the project was reduced, leaving the project incomplete.

Over the past year, DOT officials sought to fully complete the project by negotiating with the original contractor rather than rebidding the work, which saves the state several hundred thousand dollars.

The airport Hold Cargo Building houses tenants of cargo transport companies, freight forwarders, and government agencies that oversee freight activities.

Earlier this month, the governor released more than $40.9 million for other CIPs that invest in transportation infrastructure maintenance and upgrades on Hawaii Island.

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