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State received 2 proposals in bid for removal of the Falls of Clyde from Honolulu Harbor

The Hawaii Department of Transportation said it has received two proposals in response to its solicitation for the removal of the historic Falls of Clyde ship from Honolulu Harbor.

The deadline for the request for proposals, which was issued on July 1, was 2 p.m. Monday. That request was reissued for a second time in July following an earlier one issued in late April. The April request was canceled after a review found “not all state processes were followed.”

Evaluations of the received proposals are ongoing, according to spokeswoman Shelly Kunishige. Upon completion, if there is a suitable offer, a notice of award is anticipated in late September.

The Friends of Falls of Clyde, a Honolulu-based nonprofit that owns the ship, still hopes to save what it says is the only surviving iron-hulled, four-masted, full-rigged ship originally built in 1848 as part of the Falls Line by Russell & Company in Port Glasgow, Scotland.

The request for sealed bids, titled “Removal of the Derelict Sailing Vessel Falls of Clyde from Honolulu Harbor.” called for a fully qualified contractor to facilitate all work disposing of the ship while complying with any and all federal, state, and county laws, as well as Environmental Protection Agency and State Historic Preservation Division requirements.

Bruce McEwan, president of The Friends, objected to the description of the ship as “derelict,” saying the group had never abandoned or given up its ownership rights, and that its designation as a National Historic Monument warrants a public hearing before any decisions are made.

The Falls of Clyde, currently docked at Pier 7, was impounded by the state Harbors Division in August 2016. An earlier attempt by the DOT to auction off the ship in early 2019 turned up no legitimate bids.

The Friends supports ongoing efforts by Scotland-based Save Falls of Clyde International to bring the historic ship back to its birthplace to be restored and put back to sea.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Save Falls of Clyde International confirmed that it had submitted a bid for the removal of the Falls of Clyde and “engaged with local suppliers in Hawaii for goods and services to assist in the move.”

“We are hopeful that we have done enough to meet their concerns by offering the most environmentally and technically competent proposal to safeguard the harbour interests and that of the ship herself,” the group said in the Facebook post.

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