County to build new baseyard for buses

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Hawaii County awarded an $11.2 million contract Wednesday to Maryl Construction for a new bus baseyard.

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Hawaii County awarded an $11.2 million contract Wednesday to Maryl Construction for a new bus baseyard.

Construction could begin by the end of the year and is expected to be complete by the end of 2016, said Tiffany Kai, executive director of the county’s Mass Transit Agency, also known as Hele-On.

The baseyard will be located on 5 acres next to a quarry on Hoolaulima Road in Hilo.

It will include a 26,500-square-foot office building and a 19,500-square-foot warehouse for bus maintenance and repairs. Kai said it will allow the agency to consolidate administration and mechanic operations.

Currently, the agency’s bus fleet shares space with Public Works at the Schultz Siding facility, according to the project’s environmental assessment. Administration is located in a separate building on Kamehameha Avenue.

The new baseyard will have room for 55 buses and provide room for expansion as the fleet grows, Kai said.

“I know the mechanics are very excited about having a new facility,” she said.

The project needs approval from the state Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Windward Planning Commission before construction begins.

The site is part of land the state transferred to the county in 1964 for a quarry through a governor’s executive order.

The Land Board will need to remove the 5-acre site from that order and reallocate it to the county for the new facility. A vote on that action was pending Friday.

The Planning Commission on Nov. 5 will consider approving a special permit for the project.

The project’s environmental assessment says 80 percent of its cost will be covered by federal sources with the rest covered by the county. The document estimated the cost at $8.965 million.

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Kai said the county received seven construction bids.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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