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House Budget Includes $72.6M
for Kīhei-Upcountry Highway

Updated 06:58 AM HST, March 13, 2014
Posted 04:01 PM HST, March 12, 2014
Piʻilani Highway file photo by Wendy Osher.

Piʻilani Highway. File photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

An estimated $72.6 million of matching state and federal grants for a Kīhei-Upcountry Highway are included in the 2014 supplemental budget that was advanced by the state House of Representatives, according to information released by Representative Kaniela Ing of Maui.

Ing, who is a representative of the South Maui district, and a member of the House Finance Committee, said the Maui delegation worked hard to ensure that the interests of residents were well-represented in what he called a “sometimes Oʻahu-centric government.”

“We came out with some big wins,” said Ing. “The Upcountry-Kīhei highway is a project that will greatly reduce traffic, save hours of driving time, and better connect families and friends. Maui legislators have been advocating for this for years, but the time is finally right to see this started,” said Ing in a press release statement.

Kaniela Ing, courtesy photo.

Kaniela Ing. Courtesy photo.

The Kīhei-Upcountry highway is envisioned as an extension of Kūlanihāko‘i Street mauka of Pi‘ilani Highway, but Ing said the exact route could change in the design process.

Other Maui projects included in the budget bill include school facilities funding such as a new band and weight room for Maui High School, a new covered play court for Kamali’i Elementary School, and repairs and improvements for Kīhei Boat Ramp, according to Ing.

“While we have seen a budget surplus due to an improving economy, our committee decided to take a fiscally prudent and conservative approach to the budget just in case anything changed,” said Ing.

“We prioritized refilling reserves, paying off debts, opposing new taxes, and meeting basic needs, instead of spending frivolously. Just because we have more money, it doesn’t mean we should spend more. Sure enough, the Council of Revenues downgraded our economic forecast in yesterday’s report, and we were prepared,” he said.

House Bill 1700, the supplemental budget for 2014, now advances to the Senate for consideration.

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  • Nevergonnahappen

    ..Yawn..how many more years and years before the practicality of a much needed road is actually realized and implemented. Unlike Oprahs wicked quick private road..(total sarcasm).

    • checkered demon

      Not in our lifetime.

  • Loveme

    Something to think about………. Are we making the highway so the state can sell more LAND for their pocket. Some people will benefit from this!

    • Cavalon

      From what I understand of the route, it will have to pass through Alexander and Baldwin lands (the sugar cane fields) which will have to be obtained, I presume, by imminent domain.

      • usbworks

        “eminent” not “imminent”. For example:
        A nasty response is imminent by your eminence.

    • oh yah!

      It’s called job creating….

  • Roads

    one would think the common sense route would be from Wailea up to Kula, who needs it to end up on the highway? It looks like it would be the same dang route used already just higher in the hills. Dumb. Something for the folks upcountry having it go to Kula would make more sense. Too much round about ways (gas wasting/time wasting) to get to point A to B. I am sure the Kula folk would love to bypass Pukalani. Heck even going to Kula from Pukalani is a joke, if you are down deep in the “Lani’s” you still have to drive a good distance north even though your destination is south. Poor road designs all over the island.

    • checkered demon

      I agree. Some of the newer “short cuts’ meander around and curve back (Maui Lani) on themselves. Going from Kihei to Lahaina, I used to spend the first 10 minutes of the commute going diagonal to my destination.

    • more brains then them

      Why don’t you go and tell the planners that. Apparently, they need someone with common sense. You’re very right on your comments.

  • TSL

    The truth be known! Uncle Dan (r.i.p.) secured millions for this project many years age!The main reason was for the air force and the super computer people to get up to the top of haleakala for support of star wars!The bigger question is what bank has been using our public funds with minimal interest?

  • Brlfsp

    Kulanihakoi to Pueo might be a good route- that could cut down on the crystal meth traffic on Kula Highway.

  • aiaiaiai

    Bunch of fucken.dummys we don’t need another fucken industrial area

  • Pua

    We do not need anymore highways. This is just another way to suck federal blood money and receive funds set aside for “projects” the states are forced to invent, or lose the funds.
    A better idea would to restrict rental car companies from renting large SUV’s, vans, muscle cars, renting only sub-compacts and start charging for mileage. Win, win. Less traffic, less pollution and less dependance on foreign oil.

    • you nuts

      1) no rental of SUV, vans. Just compact cars? Think about what you’re saying. So,a family or group of five or more is/ will rent two vehicles rather then one van. Do you realize you just added another vehicle to the road?

    • you nuts

      You want to charge for the miles they traveled here? Hah???? We are on a island, this is not the mainland.

    • you nuts

      Do you own a rent a car business? You want to bank on the extra money?

  • Justin B

    Some of the same cane roads that already connect kihei to kula are in better shape then some of out county roads. It is already there! Lets just come together as an island and figure this out.

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