A pier and cargo yard expansion planned for Hilo Harbor has been delayed five months due to the finding of contaminated soil.
The contaminated soil was found at the project site for the new cargo yard, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said in an email.
What the soil was contaminated with and when it was discovered remained unclear in the message.
Sluyter didn’t return requests for additional comment Tuesday.
Work is suspended until an environmental health assessment, environmental hazard evaluation and construction environmental management plan can be completed to meet state Department of Health requirements, she said.
Construction of the $10 million cargo yard is expected to restart in June and take another year to complete.
Work to build the 602-foot-long new pier is now scheduled to start in December and end in February 2015.
Construction of the $37 million pier was initially scheduled to begin this summer.
The delay will cost about $1.5 million.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie last week released $1.8 million to fund construction management services for the project and to widen Kumau Street to accommodate cargo traffic.
Previously, 8 acres of Hilo Bay was dredged up to 25 feet deep to make way for the new pier.