Ask the Mayor: Why is It Taking So Long to Open S. Kīhei Road?

March 12, 2018, 2:51 PM HST (Updated March 12, 2018, 2:51 PM) · 8 Comments

bridge concrete Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at, (808) 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Dear Mayor Alan Arakawa,

Q: Why is it taking so long to open South Kīhei Road? The traffic is terrible and it is totally ridiculous for it to take so long just to fix a simple bridge.

A: This has been the most asked question my office has received the last few weeks. I know this project has caused a lot of frustration for those who commute back and forth from Kīhei because of traffic delays.

I should mention that my staff and I have been caught in the same traffic delays when we have had to conduct site inspections or attend meetings on the south side.


Nowadays, bridges over standing water require a lot of permits from various state and federal agencies. The permit conditions require the bridge to be built in a manner that allows the water to flow through the area, with various strategic safeguards to control runoff, while allowing aquatic wildlife the ability to transit the area. This lengthens significantly the time it takes to construct a modern concrete bridge.

To get a better understanding of the scope of work that was involved, please visit this Maui County webpage.

We did add several extra days at the end of the project to extend the paving all the way to Uwapo Road, whereas the limits of paving were adjacent to the bridge. We think that this definitely is worth the extra couple of days.

I want to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this project.

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