Paia Bypass to Open 24 Hours Begining May 11
By Wendy Osher
***Be sure to check back for video to be posted of the dedication ceremony ***
The Paia bypass will be open around the clock under an agreement reached between the County of Maui and Alexander & Baldwin. The two sides spent the last five weeks finalizing details of the agreement, which goes into effect on Wednesday, May 11, 2011.
Until now, the road was opened only during peak traffic hours between 1 and 6:30 p.m., from Monday to Sunday. Under the new agreement, the County takes over the roadway, assumes responsibility for the thoroughfare, and extends the hours to 24-7 operation.
“We thank A&B for their willingness to help the community, and we are very happy to take over this burden for them,” said Mayor Alan Arakawa in a press release issued today.
“The people of Paia, Haiku and other East Maui communities have suffered enough,” said Mayor Arakawa. “I want people to know that we have heard their cries for help and we are confident that keeping this road open will alleviate traffic congestion,” he said.
Traffic heading into Paia Town during rush hour is often backed up past Spreckelsville, at times extending to the Kaunoa Senior Center.
“Traffic through Paia Town is an ongoing issue, and this bypass road is an important step in resolving the traffic congestion,” said Council member Mike White who participated in the discussions that led to the bypass road’s full-time opening. “The community has been very patient, and I appreciate the Administration and the County Council working together with A&B to make this happen,” said White.
A ceremony is planned at 1 p.m. tomorrow, during the afternoon rush hour commute. Among those in attendance will be Mayor Arakawa, Maui County Council members and officials from Alexander & Baldwin.