12 JUN 2019: Engineers in Hawaii have recommended building a new boat ramp at a site blocked by last year's Kilauea volcano eruption, a report said. While the eruption spared the ramp in the Big Island recreation area also known as Pohoiki Beach Park, lava flows blocked it with what is now a black-sand beach that is 200 feet (61 metres) wide.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that a new ramp at Isaac Hale Beach Park is a less costly alternative than excavating a new channel at Pohoiki Bay.

The estimated cost to restore the boat ramp is about $37.9 million, more than twice the estimated cost of building a new boat ramp at the Malama Flats alternative site to the south, officials said.

The park reopened to the public in early December after a six-month closure, but the ramp remains landlocked.

Sea Engineering Inc. produced a report for the state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation that said reopening the ramp would require excavating a channel maintained by jetties through the beach.

The estimated cost of building a boat ramp at Malama Flats would be about $14.5 million, officials said.

The price includes the excavation of a 295-foot-long (90-meter), 100-foot-wide (30 metre) entrance channel at a depth of 6 feet (1.8 metres.)

The cost also includes a concrete boat launch ramp, approach pad and walkway with a lava rock retaining wall and access road, officials said.

Constructing a new ramp at an alternate site would be a more straightforward project than building a boat ramp anywhere along the Lower Puna coast, engineers said.

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