HANALEI — A couple from South Carolina quizzically looked at the Hanalei Pier, walking out to the slab with measured steps while pondering the scene Wednesday.
The couple said they knew something was missing after they were informed the canopy, or roof, was gone.
Work on the removal of the canopy started Monday by Wells Custom Homes, who were awarded a contract from the State of Hawai‘i, Department of Land and Natural Resources.
“I’m glad we got the contract to do the work,” said Grant Wells. “There were six companies bidding for the contract, and I’m glad we had the winning bid because we’ll be working with the restoration crews, too.”
The removal of the deteriorating canopy is a prelude to the restoration work being spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay.
“We’re staying out of the canopy removal part,” said Sally Motta, a Hanalei Rotarian, who started the effort for the restoration three years ago with a fundraiser. “Now that the canopy is gone, it’s our turn.”
During the past three years, the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay hosted a number of fundraisers to pay for both the restoration work as well as have some funds available for maintenance and upkeep.
“We didn’t want the demolition to start too soon because the plans had to be drawn up and arrangements made for the work on restoring the shed on the well-known Hanalei Pier,” Motta said.
As visitors pondered the missing canopy on the well-recognized structure, Wells and his crew were combing through the dismantled structure.
“We’re sorting through the material and salvaging the stainless steel brackets,” Wells said. “We will be reusing the ones which can be salvaged. The structure was at a point where it would have come down, whether we did it or not.”
Tony Motta, president of the Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay, said tentatively, work on the restoration should start some time in January.
“A lot of it depends on getting the materials,” he said. “The effort is a collaborative one involving the Rotarians, the state and the county.”
Wells said while working on the dismantling, he was approached by Chad Pacheco, chair of the annual North Shore Fishing Tournament, which uses the Hanalei Pier as its weigh station.
“Chad said we have until June to get the job completed,” Wells said. “That’s when the next fishing tournament is scheduled.”
The Rotary Club of Hanalei Bay is still accepting donations toward its “Save the Hanalei Pier” fund. Visit www.hanaleirotary.org for more information.