Kahoma Bridge Topping Off, Milestone for Honoapiilani
By Wendy Osher
A topping off ceremony was held today for the Kahoma Stream Bridge in West Maui, marking a significant milestone in the realignment of the Honoapiilani Highway, government officials said.
State Representative Angus McKelvey said the project will contribute to improvement of traffic and road conditions for residents in West Maui.
“The completion of this bridge represents the beginning of the materialization of the Lahaina Bypass and for the community, a realization of a long-awaited need,” said McKelvey, who explained that the bypass will not only give residents a more convenient way to access the homes and schools in the area but also serve as a much-needed emergency evacuation route if the main road be blocked by fire or other disaster.”
The Honoapiilani Highway Realignment, also known as the Lahaina Bypass, includes plans for the creation of an alternate route mauka of the Honoapiilani Highway, to help alleviate congestion in Lahaina Town.
This phase, McKelvey said, spans nearly a mile between Lahainaluna Road and the Keawe Street extension, and is expected to be completed by the end of next month, December of 2012.
“This is a significant milestone in the construction of the first phase of the Lahaina Bypass road,” said fellow legislator, Sen. Roz Baker who represents South and West Maui. “I congratulate Wilson Okamoto Corp. for the fantastic, award-winning bridge design which preserves the gorgeous views from the roadway, is less intrusive on the landscape and preserves the functionality of the Kahoma stream channel.”
The design features a low profile, and eliminates the need for pillars below the bridge, leaving the stream itself unobstructed.
Baker also credited subcontractor Hawaiian Dredging, and the Hawai’i Department of Transportation for working with the West Maui community to move the project forward. “We all look forward to opening the first phases of the long awaited road improvement later year and next January,” said Sen. Baker in a statement.
According to legislative information, the estimated design and construction cost of the Honoapiilani Highway Realignment project is $24.3 million.
In a statement today he said, “I am proud of the work by our legislative team to secure funding for the Honoapiilani Highway Realignment project, and thank our governor and transportation department for releasing the funds and starting the critical construction phase. We are working together to get the job done,” said Rep. McKelvey.
Today’s blessing was provided by Reverend Earl Kukahiko, and attended by a number of dignitaries including: state Department of Transportation Director Glenn Okimoto, Governor Neil Abercrombie, and Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa who provided remarks on behalf of the state and the county respectively.
Also on hand were Bob Pure, president of the board of directors for Lahaina Bypass Now, and William Wilson, president of Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, Inc.