Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Works with Community Groups to Repurpose Wood from Dillingham Boulevard

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) is pleased to announce that commemorative ‘umeke (bowls) distributed at the Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture (FestPAC) on June 16, 2024, were repurposed and crafted from the true kamani trees HART’s construction crews removed from Dillingham Boulevard in 2023 to make way for utility relocations along the construction corridor.

“Displacing trees that are beloved by the community was not HART’s first choice. This is why we are grateful to work with arborists, the Outdoor Circle, and community groups to repurpose this wood in a meaningful way, while also sharing a part of Hawaii’s rich history and culture with the world at FestPAC,” said HART Executive Director and CEO Lori Kahikina, P.E.

The commemorative ‘umeke were gifted to 28 delegates from various Pacific Island nations at FestPAC, held June 6 through 16 held primarily at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hawaii Convention Center, Bishop Museum, and throughout Waikiki. HART worked with its contractors and community stakeholders, including local non-profit Re-Use Hawaii to mill the wood from the true kamani trees. HART provided the repurposed wood used for the ‘umeke to the Pa‘i Foundation, an organization dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of Native Hawaiian arts and cultural traditions. The foundation sent the wood to other neighbor island organizations to be crafted, and ultimately returned to O‘ahu for FestPAC.

HART is committed to providing the repurposed wood to a host of nonprofit organizations focusing on Hawaiian culture and art. Selected in 2018, these organizations include the Pa‘i Foundation, Honolulu Community College, Polynesian Voyaging Society, Kalihi Pālama Culture and Arts Society, and Kalihi-Pālama Hawaiian Civic Club.

HART performed evaluations of the utility relocation designs, as well as the guideway and stations, to limit impacts on the trees in the construction corridor and continues to work with contractors to determine options of keeping trees in place where possible. These trees were in the path of new underground electrical lines that will replace the overhead lines on the mauka side of Dillingham Boulevard. The undergrounded and upgraded critical utility lines will also reduce severe weather-related incidents.

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