GROUNDBREAKING HELD FOR LAHAINA BYPASS
State officials broke ground today on the first phase of the Lahaina Bypass project. State Transportation Director Brennon Morioka explains key projects planned for the 1st phase that extends from Lahainaluna Road to the future Keawe Street Extension.
“It’s only a half a mile stretch of total project length but it’s going to be about $50 million. We’re going to be building a major bridge across Kahoma as well as making an overpass for Lahainaluna Road,” said Morioka.
“Phase 1A, coupled with the widening of Honoapi’ilani Highway, will bring much needed congestion relief to the community immediately. The completed bypass will provide the capacity to service West Maui well into the future,” he added.
The project is aimed at alleviating traffic and improving circulation in Lahaina town. Lt. Governor Duke Aiona listed a number of benefits he projects for the area.
“The numbers are pretty simple. In the last five years, the population on Maui has increased about 5%, but car registrations have increased by about 14%. So obviously, you’ve got more people on the road, and this is not something that is new, it’s something that has been accumulating over the last 20 years since this project went into the planning phase,” said Aiona.
“For one it will relieve traffic, it will help the economy (people will have more jobs), it will also help the economy with regards to transportation of goods and services to Lahaina, and quality of life in general,” said Aiona.
Today’s groundbreaking is for the first of several phases that will ultimately result in a 4-lane bypass highway spanning approximately 9 miles from Launiupoko to Honokowai.
Crews began preparing a detour route in December to allow the partial closure of Ikena Avenue between Lahainaluna Road and Kaakolu Street. The closure was required for mass excavation in Ikena Avenue and construction of the Lahainaluna Grade Separation structure.
Access to Kaakolu and Liloa Streets through Ikena Avenue will be maintained until around June 2009 when Ikena Avenue will be completely closed. Construction on the northern side of Kahoma Stream is anticipated in the Fall of 2009.
The Federal Highways Administration provided 80 percent matching funds on this $50 million design-build contract. Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, Inc was selected for this phase of the project.
Phase 1A is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2011.
Further information can be found at the following links:
Click here for PROJECT INFORMATION
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(Story and Photos by Wendy OSHER Â© 2009)