envision laie header image

Drainage Charrette Held in Laie

Representatives from the federal U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the City & County of Honolulu, Hawaii Reserves, Inc. (HRI), Laie Community Association, BYU-Hawaii, the Polynesian Cultural Center and planning consultants recently held a planning “charrette” in Laie to kick off the next phase of the Wailele Flood Risk Management Feasibility Study. Completing the study is the first step in solving flooding in Laie that is caused primarily by the Wailele stream and its inadequate outfall.

The historic planning charrette was organized by the USACE and HRI. Deborah Solis, a civil and public works project manager for the USACE, said, “This charrette brings together key area stakeholders and experts to explore the best ways to reduce flood risks to the community associated with flooding from the Wailele Stream.”

Wailele Stream

Wailele runs between the southern boundary of Laie and BYU-Hawaii’s campus and flows into the ocean. During massive storms – like the December 2008 storm that caused flooding islandwide and here in Laie – the stream can overflow into the community.

Wailele Stream During 2008 Storm
Wailele Stream during December 2008 storm

The highway is elevated several feet above Laie and acts like a dam, and the stream’s outfall conduit under the highway is woefully insufficient.

Charrette Site Visit to Wailele Stream
Charrette site visit to Wailele Stream

During the heaviest rainfall events, the Wailele basin can generate about 5,000 cubic feet per second (CFS), but the outfall capacity of the conduit under the highway is only about 700 CFS, causing water to quickly back up and flow northward through the Polynesian Cultural Center into the community.

                                                    Wailele Stream CFS Graphic

In the aftermath of Hurricane Iwa in 1982, a $5.8 million project was undertaken by the USACE to modify the Kahawainui and Laiewai streams. A concrete channel, excavated earth channel, floodwalls and levees were constructed and two roadways were raised.

USACE Kahawainui Flood Control Project (1990)

Since its completion in 1990, the northern parts of the community have generally been protected from flooding. Similar benefits are expected for the southern part of Laie if a USACE flood control project is approved for the Wailele Stream.

Funding The Study 

In December of 2012 the Honolulu City Council approved a critical cost sharing arrangement between USACE, the City & County of Honolulu, and Hawaii Reserves, Inc., to complete the flood risk management study for Wailele Stream. The study began in the early 1990s but wasn’t pursued further for various reasons. The $600,000 plus required to finish the study is being funded 50% by the federal government, 25% by the city and 25% by HRI.

Pane Meatoga, president of the Laie Community Association said, “Finding a drainage solution for Wailele is a top priority, so the community is grateful to the previous and current mayor and City administration, City Council Chair and district area representative, Ernie Martin, and HRI. This funding arrangement is a great example of a public-private partnership created to solve a difficult community challenge.”

Next Steps

In addition to discussion and analysis, the charrette involved a number of on-site visits in the Laie area. The charrette group will narrow down drainage solutions to the top three options in the next few months.

Charrette site visit to the Pounder’s Beach bridge outfall

After that, follow-up study and analysis will take place along with another meeting with the USACE to decide on a tentatively selected plan by the first quarter of next year. The goal is to identify the best flood mitigation plan for the area that meets all USACE flood risk mitigation requirements.

Army Corps Project Schedule

If the proposed project is authorized for construction, the next steps include attempting to secure funding for the proposed project and engineering design. USACE project manager, Deborah Solis remarked, “We’re very pleased to be at this point in the process and look forward to identifying the best flood risk mitigation plan for this community.”

On The Right Track 

Pane Meatoga, president of the Laie Community Association was there for all three days of the charrette. Meatoga said, “The meetings, discussions and site visits were very productive, with all the right people from the City and Federal government, landowners, stakeholders and community all here to assess and decide on real world, long-term drainage solutions for Laie. We’re on the right track.”

Drainage Charrette Participants

Meatoga added, “The community association has had a seat at the table all along, and will continue to be fully engaged with the Army Corps, the Laie entities, City government and other key players to help identify and implement the best drainage solutions for Laie.”

Mahalo,
The Envision Lā’ie Team

 

Comments



page divider bar



Community Celebrates Laie Hotel Groundbreaking

Hundreds of people came out to celebrate the groundbreaking of the Laie Courtyard by Marriott hotel this past Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

Held at the hotel property site adjacent to the Polynesian Cultural Center, the crowd included long-time residents, friends and family from Honolulu and beyond, and the development team.

Crowd at Laie hotel groundbreaking

The event started with a welcoming oli by renowned local kumu, Cy Bridges. The Laie Community Association then presented a traditional gift to the Wood family, owners of the planned hotel who have made the project possible.

Gift to Wood Family

Various community and business leaders were in attendance, including George Atta, director of the City Dept. of Planning & Permitting and representing Mayor Kirk Caldwell, officials from project lenders Zions Bank and First Hawaiian Bank, and others who have played a key role in the project. A few leaders spoke to the crowd about the many benefits of the hotel project.

Junior AhYou, vice-president of the Laie Community Association, said, “Today is a wonderful day, a historical day . . . as we continue to conduct our endeavors in righteousness, wonderful things will continue to happen here in Laie.”

City Council Chair Ernest Martin

Honolulu City Council Chairman, Ernest Martin, remarked, “We did have a number of hearings on this particular project, but at the end of the day, the City Council felt that it was the right thing to do – the necessary thing to do.” He added, “I’ve had the good fortune of staying at Marriott properties, so I know the quality of the product name itself.”

Chris Wood, managing partner for Laie Ventures, LLC explained, “While this is a Courtyard by Marriott project, we’re not a big corporation that’s coming in here and running this project, we’re just a family.” He noted that some of the project proceeds will benefit a non-profit school for autistic children. “We want to say thank you to the people of the community – you’re what makes this place special and it’s your aloha spirit that brings people here.”

Chris Wood, managing parnter for Laie Ventures, LLC

Eric Beaver, president and chairman of Hawaii Reserves, Inc., thanked all who helped make the project possible. He stated, “It’s clear that this new hotel will bolster the Polynesian Cultural Center, enhance the University and bless the community. It will also strengthen the sacred work that takes place in the Laie Hawaii Temple.”

Beaver added, “From the worker who builds it, to the guest who stays in it, to the employee who works in it, to the student who is trains in it, to the group sale agents who book rooms in it, to vendors who provide services to it . . . this ‘guest house,’ as we call it in the islands, will be a fabulous amenity, even a blessing for this place we call home.”

Jack Hoag, former Chairman of Hawaii Reserves, Inc., next provided a blessing on the hotel project and construction. The groundbreaking then took place using traditional ‘o’o fashioned by local master carver, Tuione Pulotu.

Laie hotel groundbreaking

Following the initial groundbreaking, everyone was invited to participate in breaking ground for the project - and many people did - including keiki and kupuna!

Keiki participates in ground breaking

To view more photos, please visit the groundbreaking photo album on our Facebook page. If you would like a copy of your photo, please call 293-9201.

Groundbreaking attendees enjoy good food

A big mahalo to Tita’s Grill for the good food, and to local farmer, Sateki Mahe, for the fresh fruit.

Groundbreaking crowd eats and mingles after event

The new 144-room Laie hotel is expected to open mid-2015, and is part of a vision to revitalize and sustain the Ko’olau Loa region. Construction of the two and three-floor Courtyard by Marriott is expected to generate about 250 construction jobs.

Community members break ground

Many thanks to everyone who helped to make the hotel groundbreaking a true community celebration! We’ll keep everyone appraised of progress as hotel construction reaches major milestones.

 

 

 

Comments



page divider bar



Hotel Groundbreaking This Saturday

The wait is almost over - the groundbreaking for the Courtyard by Marriott Laie hotel is this Saturday, March 15th!

Laie hotel groundbreaking flyer

The program will include remarks by those involved in the project, a blessing and the actual ground breaking. Site plans and renderings will be on display. Light refreshments by Tita’s Grill will be served afterwards.

Site plan for new hotel and relocated McDonald’s

 

The new hotel will feature 144 rooms, provide employment for residents and students, help bolster the neighboring Polynesian Cultural Center and Brigham Young University-Hawaii, and serve the needs of the community. For more info about the hotel, please visit our newsletter archive.

 We hope to see you this weekend:

  • Saturday, March 15th, 10 a.m.
  • Laie hotel property
  • Parking near the Kahuku end of the PCC parking lot
  • Light refreshments by Tita’s Grill immediately following
Come celebrate with us!
Comments



page divider bar



Courtyard by Marriott Laie Hotel Groundbreaking Next Saturday

Reminder – the groundbreaking for the Courtyard by Marriott Laie hotel is next Saturday, March 15th!

Laie hotel groundbreaking flyer

The program will include remarks by those involved in the project, a blessing and the actual ground breaking. Light refreshments by Tita’s Grill will be served afterwards.

Site plan for new hotel and relocated McDonald’s

 

The new hotel will feature 144 rooms, provide employment for residents and students, help bolster the neighboring Polynesian Cultural Center and Brigham Young University-Hawaii, and serve the needs of the community.

We hope to see you next weekend:

  • Saturday, March 15th, 10 a.m.
  • Laie hotel property
  • Parking near the Kahuku end of the PCC parking lot
  • Light refreshments by Tita’s Grill immediately following

 

Come celebrate with us!

 

Comments



page divider bar



Courtyard by Marriott Laie Hotel Groundbreaking on March 15th

Good news – the groundbreaking for the Laie hotel has been set for Saturday, March 15th!

As previously announced, the new hotel will be a three-story Courtyard by Marriott, developed by Laie Ventures. Land manager Hawaii Reserves, Inc., is leasing the property.

Site plan for new hotel and relocated McDonald’s

 

Brent Wood, partner with developer Laie Ventures, LLC, said, “The new hotel will be a blessing to the community, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and Brigham Young University-Hawaii; we’re excited to be at the point of breaking ground on this great project.”

The new hotel will feature 144 rooms, provide employment for residents and students, help bolster the neighboring Polynesian Cultural Center and Brigham Young University-Hawaii, and serve the needs of the community.

Save the date:

  • Saturday, March 15th, 10 a.m.
  • Laie hotel property
  • Parking near the Kahuku end of the PCC parking lot
  • Light refreshments immediately following

Flyer - Hotel Groundbreaking

Come celebrate with us!

 

Comments



page divider bar



Archives