DOT Breaks Ground on Kahului Airport Access Road, Phase 1

November 9, 2013, 11:46 AM HST · Updated November 11, 12:13 PM
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From left to right, Kahu Earl Kukahiko, Department of Transportation Director Glenn Okimoto, FHWA Division Administrator Abraham Wong, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company President Bill Wilson. Photo courtesy HDOT.

From left to right, Kahu Earl Kukahiko, Department of Transportation Director Glenn Okimoto, FHWA Division Administrator Abraham Wong, Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company President Bill Wilson. Photo courtesy HDOT.

By Wendy Osher

State highway personnel officially broke ground on Phase 1 of the Kahului Airport Access Road, which was designed as a traffic mitigation measure to meet continuing growth in use and demand at the Kahului Airport, enhance traffic circulation, and alleviate congestion.

Kahu Earl Kukahiko joined state and federal transportation officials and construction company executives in a small blessing ceremony at the site on Friday, Nov. 8, DOT officials announced.

According to the Environmental Assessment for the project published in March 2012, Phase I of construction for the Kahului Airport Access Road, calls for a four-lane, 4,700-foot stretch of road between Puʻunēnē Avenue and the Hāna Highway.

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New information confirms that, as part of the project, there will be traffic signals installed at two intersections: one at Dairy Road and Pākaula Street, and the other at Hāna Highway.

According to the EA document, the intersection of Puʻunēnē Avenue and Dairy Road would remain at its current location with the Airport Access Road branching off behind the Harley Davidson dealer and proceeding behind the Maui Marketplace until the road meets up with the Hāna Highway, and Phase II of the project.

Kahului Airport Access Road map rendering, courtesy Munekiyo & Hiraga Inc. prepared for the State Department of Transportation as part of an EA & EIS, March 2012.

Kahului Airport Access Road map rendering, courtesy Munekiyo & Hiraga Inc. prepared for the State Department of Transportation as part of an EA, March 2012.

When complete, the Airport Access Road, in conjunction with the Airport Loop Road, will begin at Puʻunēnē Avenue and end at Kahului Airport, running parallel to Dairy Road and Hoʻokele Street for approximately 5,800 feet, according to state Department of Transportation officials.

The Phase 1 portion of the project is under the jurisdiction of the state Highways Division and the estimated $22 million contract was awarded to Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company, Inc.

The project was paid for with 80% federal and 20% state funding; and it is slated for completion in about one year, according to new information released by the DOT.

Highways officials say construction of Phase 1 of the Airport Access Road consists of, “demolition, resurfacing, installation of asphalt, concrete pavement and gutter, guardrail, retaining wall, signing, lighting, and drainage improvements.”

The state Department of Transportation, Airports Division has jurisdiction over the Airport Loop Road portion that extends beyond the Hāna Highway to the Kahului Airport. That portion of the project is expected to begin construction early next year.

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