It’s going to take a lot to bring down the Kapalua Bay Hotel. It only dates back to 1978, but the hotel does hold 194 rooms. And it’s all got to go to make way for Maui Land and Pineapple Company’s new, far more luxurious Residences at Kapalua.
The project’s recently approved Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has many, many pages, but only three deal with that demolition (see “Demolition is a Dirty Business,” Sept. 29, 2005). We perused them, and were surprised to find considerable issues involving landfill capacity, air pollution and the possible release of ghostly spirits. Enjoy!
1. The goal of The Kapalua Bay Hotel Demolition and Recycling Plan is to recycle 90 to 95 percent of the existing hotel. “If the company accomplishes that goal of recycling nearly all the demolished structure, it will be a first in the history of modern demolition projects,” says Napili resident Richard Cochrane, a retired hotel executive with considerable experience in demolishing hotels.
The EIS states that the amount of unsuitable material requiring transport to the landfill will remain unknown until a general contractor is hired. The amount of construction garbage and material suitable for recycling is unspecified so the amount that will be dumped into the C&D landfill is also unknown.
2. The Decoite Construction and Demolition Landfill is the only construction dump on Maui. All “non-recyclable” material from construction demolition gets tossed into this puka at Ma’alaea.
Ma’alaea Community Association President Robert Riebling says Ma’alaea residents downwind from the dump suffer from its nauseating stench, especially when it burns and produces choking clouds of black smoke.
3. Demolition plans are broken into two phases: soft demolition and hard demolition.
Soft demolition entails removing everything but the concrete structural shell of the hotel, and that raises some concerns. For instance, the EIS states that the massive amount of carpet and pad will be removed and taken to on-island landscape companies to recycle as weed mats. Where will a local landscape company store all the carpet? Which company will take it?
4. Although the EIS states that a temporary sound barrier wall will be constructed at the north and south project property lines, demolition and construction will generate at least two years of significant noise from the bulldozers, excavators, diesel trucks and the constant pounding from concrete smashing equipment needed to break down the hotel’s huge walls and foundations.
But Maui Land is looking out for its neighbors: pile drivers, hoe rams, jack hammers 25 pounds or larger, high pressure sprayers and chain saws “may” be restricted from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. All other heavy equipment will only be pounding and grinding between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday.
5. Thousands of full, slow-moving semi-trucks could be traveling Office Road and Honoapi’ilani Highway, taking construction debris and garbage from the site to the Ma’alaea C&D dump.
Then there are the thousands of truckloads bringing construction material to the site over the length of the two- to three-year project. This steady stream of trucks, while providing trucker’s jobs for a few years, will lead to more traffic.
6. The EIS states that slow-moving construction vehicles will only move heavy construction equipment during periods of “low traffic volume” and schedules of commuting construction workers can be adjusted to avoid peak hours in the vicinity.
But how will that correspond to the proposed construction work hours, which span the entire day?
7. The EIS says fugitive dust emissions from demolition and construction activities are difficult to estimate accurately because of the elusive nature of emissions and because the potential for dust generation varies greatly depending upon soil type, the amount of dirt-disturbing activity taking place and the moisture content of exposed soil in work areas and wind speed.
State Air Pollution Control Regulations prohibit visible emissions of fugitive dust from construction activities at the property line. Maui Land says they’ll control dust emissions by frequently spraying water on demolition areas and bare-dirt surfaces in active construction. Of course, the trade winds that speed through Kapalua may keep these water sprayers really busy. And what about the continuous clouds of dust blowing into the ocean as they demolish the buildings and grind down the massive amounts of concrete?
8. The Kapalua Bay Hotel was built more than 30 years ago, before state laws requiring archaeological investigation. Hawaiian bones have been uncovered on neighboring properties.
According to the EIS Cultural Assessment Section, over the years several Kapalua Bay Hotel guests have reported seeing “spirits” and housekeepers have seen furniture moving in the rooms. Several rooms have been blessed by a Deacon of the Mormon Church because of the reported presence of spirits. It’s possible excavation could reveal an ancient Hawaiian burial ground. MTW