VIDEO: Gates Open 24-7 for Paia Bypass
By Wendy Osher
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjPaVHahAok /]
The gates of the Paia Mini-Bypass were unlocked and opened for good during the afternoon rush hour commute on Maui. Mayor Alan Arakawa and A&B Properties Vice President Grant Chun joined council members Don Couch, Michael Victorino, and Mike White in officially opening the gates under a partnership that allows 24-7 access to the bypass road.
“We want to thank the Department of Transportation and A&B and everyone else who has been involved in making this project possible,” said Mayor Arakawa during the opening today. “When the Council gives us a directive, we know that the administration will follow through, and when the community gives us a directive, our partnerships allow us to follow through,” said Mayor Arakawa.
The private, one-way Paia Mini Bypass road first opened up to traffic in 2006, for just a few hours a day, in an attempt to alleviate rush-hour traffic into East Maui. The original 3-6:30 p.m. hours were later extended to 1-6:30 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays, and today were extended to around-the-clock operation.
The bypass crosses about five acres of Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. land, starting along the Hana Highway at the entrance of Paia town, and extending mauka just past the Paia Post Office. Motorists heading to upper Paia, Haliimaile, Makawao, and to other areas Upcountry, are able to avoid Paia Town traffic congestion by taking a right turn onto the bypass and avoiding congestion along the Hana Highway.
Mayor Arakawa worked with members of the Maui County Council and Alexander & Baldwin to try and keep the Paia Mini Bypass open 24 hours a day in order to alleviate problems with ongoing rush-hour traffic congestion through the busy stretch of Paia Town.
The new agreement allows round-the-clock access to the mini-bypass road, and gives the County of Maui responsibility and jurisdiction for upkeep and maintenance of the roadway.
Officials with the County of Maui thanked A&B for their generosity as well as the support received from the Maui County Council, the State Department of Transportation and the Maui Police Department.