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Transportation of Auwahi Wind Turbine Components to Begin

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Auwahi Wind Farm construction site. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Maui motorists are advised that the transport of wind turbine components for the Auwahi Wind Farm project in Ulupalakua begin on September 18, 2012.

Sempra US Gas & Power and BP Wind Energy released the schedule today saying large semi-trucks carrying the “super loads” will travel from a staging site near Kahului Harbor through South Maui to the Auwahi Wind site.

During the six-week delivery period, a total of 56 oversized loads will be transported from Kahului to Makena.  The deliveries will take place Monday through Friday between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.

To minimize traffic impacts, officials say no more than three oversized loads will be transported on any given day.

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Auwahi Wind project site. Photo by Wendy Osher.

“We have an open and ongoing dialogue with the community about the deliveries to minimize traffic impacts and keep Maui residents informed throughout construction,” said Dan Hyatt, construction manager for Sempra US Gas & Power’s Auwahi Wind project.

“We are working with several public agencies to ensure that all necessary transportation safety measures are in place,” said Hyatt.

Construction on the 21-megawatt wind farm began in March 2012. When complete later this year, the project’s eight wind turbines are expected to generate enough electricity to power about 10,000 Maui homes, and help Hawaii reach its goal of securing 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.

The transportation route is 27-miles long and begins with a 5 p.m. departure of superloads from the Kahului Harbor staging site.  Superloads will travel from Hansen Road to Hana Highway to Dairy Road to Pu`unene Avenue, and then onto Mokulele Highway (Route 311). From there, the following route will be utilized: Pi’ilani Highway (Route 31) to Wailea Ike Drive to Wailea Alanui Drive to Makena Alanui Road to Papaka Road to Upcountry Pi’ilani Highway.

According to the company’s transport schedule, travel on Wailea Ike Drive, Wailea Alanui Drive and Makena Alanui Road will occur only between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. Travel on Upcountry Pi’ilani Highway from Papaka Road to the Auwahi Wind site may occur in the evening or mornings after 7 a.m.

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Piilani Highway on the way to the Auwahi Wind project site in Ulupalakua. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Temporary road closures lasting approximately 15 minutes will occur at the intersection of Wailea Ike and Wailea Alanui Drive, where temporary traffic control will be present, and near the Makena Beach & Golf Resort.

When the super loads reach Upcountry Pi’ilani Highway, intermittent full road closures of both lanes will take place between mile markers 16 and 20, lasting approximately 30 minutes. Extended delays are possible due to unforeseen circumstances.

Each oversized load will be accompanied by escort vehicles with flashing lights to alert drivers. Electronic notification boards will be placed along Upcountry Pi’ilani Highway in advance of the super load transports, alerting Maui residents of the upcoming closures.

Residents can also access updated transportation schedules and other project information via the Internet at www.SempraUSGP.com/auwahi or by calling the project hotline at 1-888-587-2919.

*** Supporting information courtesy Sempra US Gas & Power.