Kawaihae Deep Draft Harbor

Kawaihae Deep Draft Harbor (DDH) is located on the northwest coast on the island of Hawai’i. The Kawaihae Deep Draft Harbor project was authorized under the River and Harbor Act of 1950, and the River and Harbor Act of 1965. The non-Federal sponsor is the Harbors Division, Department of Transportation, State of Hawai’i (DOT). The project is in the operations and maintenance phase.

Kawaihae DDH was completed in 1959 and enlarged in 1973. The project cost for dredging the Federal basin was $6,236,333 (Federal: $5,983,501; non-Federal: $252,832).  The existing Federal project consists of an entrance channel (3,270 feet long by 40 feet deep); a harbor basin (1,750 feet long, 1,450 feet wide and 35 feet deep); and a rubble-mound breakwater (2,650 feet long).

Kawaihae DDH is one of two main commercial ports for the island of Hawai’i. It is located 70 miles from the primary port, Hilo Harbor. Kawaihae serves the west side of the island and according to the 2010 waterborne commerce statistics, two million (five-year average) short tons of cargo are shipped through Kawaihae DDH. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for maintaining authorized project depths in the channel and turning basin areas, and for maintenance of the breakwater. The DOT is responsible for maintaining depths in berthing and mooring areas, which are beyond the Federal limits. The last maintenance dredging occurred in 1973.