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McKelvey to Boycott Highway Realignment Blessing Ceremony

April 13, 2018, 5:54 PM HST · Updated April 13, 6:02 PM
Wendy Osher · 8 Comments
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Maui Now graphic. Photo: Hōkiokio access to Lahaina Bypass via Honoapiʻilani Highway. PC: by Wendy Osher.

Rep. Angus L.K. McKelvey (West Maui, Mā‘alaea, North Kīhei) is boycotting the upcoming blessing ceremony for the Honoapiʻilani Highway Phase 1b-2 Realignment project that is set for this Sunday, April 15, 2018.

Rep. McKelvey today sent a letter to Governor David Ige and Kevin Fujii with the State Department of Transportation‘s Air Protocol Office spelling out why he will not attend.

In the letter, Rep. McKelvey says he reached out to the governor in the hope he would intercede int he project, and work with the community to devise a better solution than the current design.

He states that the proposed designs “were never vetted by the community” and “its impact was never discussed.”

In the letter, McKelvey states, “This rush to implement a lane elimination plan and make other changes to the traffic patterns on Keawe will have a detrimental impact that will create traffic congestion on the West Side of Maui.”

The complete text of the letter is posted below:

Dear Mr. Fujii:

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As the House Representative for the 10th District I must regretfully inform you that I will not be attending the Blessing Ceremony for the Honoapiʻilani Highway Realignment Phase 1b-2.

On behalf of my constituents I reached out to Gov. Ige in the hope that he would intercede in this project and compel the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation to work with the community and devise a better solution than the current design. I urged the governor to take action, since DOT insisted on pushing along unwanted proposed changes, and stressed that it was imperative that his office step in and halt any construction of the proposed designs because they were never vetted by the community and its impact was never discussed. Gov. Ige did not respond to the concerns of the Lahaina community.

The public was not given any chance to comment and receive the responses they deserve for their concerns. In fact, the planning modifications were never discussed with the community or their governmental representatives until literally the last minute and presented as a “take it, this is the way it’s going to be” discussion.

The ramifications of this DOT decision are very troubling because it was never included in any planning documents or discussions until now. This rush to implement a lane elimination plan and make other changes to the traffic patterns on Keawe will have a detrimental impact that will create traffic congestion on the West Side of Maui.

Instead of trying to work together to resolve this and other matters of concern in our community, the DOT continues to move ahead full speed in spite of concerns that are continuously being raised by myself and others.

It is for all the above stated reasons that, despite securing the funds for this latest phase of the Lahaina Bypass, I will regrettably not be attending the Blessing Ceremony.

Respectfully submitted with kind regards,

Angus McKelvey, Representative

10th District – West Maui, Māʻalaea, North Kīhei

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 15 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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