U.S. Army to improve pedestrian safety, update lighting at Fort DeRussy

Public input sought on proposed preservation measures during construction

WAIKIKI, Hawaii — The U.S. Army plans to improve pedestrian safety and outdoor lighting at Fort DeRussy, and is seeking public input on its proposed commitment to avoid or reduce effects to cultural resources during the construction.

The Army projects involve modifying the intersection of Kālia and Maluhia roads to improve pedestrian safety, and replacing the outdated lighting system and light poles, or high mast lighting, across Fort DeRussy Military Reservation.

“Fort DeRussy is an archaeological district, and we’ve been consulting closely with Native Hawaiian Organizations to hear and understand their concerns about the work,” said Richard Davis, program manager, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Cultural Resources Program. “Through these discussions we’ve drafted a plan called a memorandum of agreement outlining how the Army will avoid, minimize and mitigate any potential effects from the project work.”

“We’re at a point now where the draft is ready to share with the public, and we welcome their feedback,” Davis added.

The Army has documented much of Fort DeRussy as archaeological district because of the presence of traditional Hawaiian cultural material buried there. The modern cityscape was once a traditional Hawaiian aquaculture complex of ponds, or loko, and channels, or ʻauwai. Native Hawaiian remains and archaeological materials have been found buried in the sandy soils around the fringes of the former loko and ʻauwai.

“The Army has a responsibility to protect against impacts to this significant archaeological district, just as it has a responsibility to improve safety for the community today,” Davis said.

The draft memorandum of agreement and project descriptions are available online at https://home.army.mil/hawaii/index.php/culturalresources, under the “Section 106 Consultation & Public Notices” tab.

Comments are being solicited through May 24, in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. They can be submitted via email: usarmy.hawaii.crmp@mail.mil; or mail: USAG HI Environmental Division, ATTN: Fort DeRussy MOA, 947 Wright Ave., Schofield Barracks, HI 96857.

Anyone with questions should contact the U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii Cultural Resources Program at (808) 655-9709.

The Army intends to finalize the memorandum of agreement this summer in compliance with its National Historic Preservation Act responsibilities.