Extension Will Link Waiʻale Road to Honoapiʻilani Highway
By Wendy Osher
The County of Maui is proposing the construction of an extension to Waiʻale Road in Central Maui.
The road currenty ends at East Waikō Road, but the extension would add 8,600 feet to the road, taking it further south to the Honoapiʻilani Highway.
The extension of Waiʻale Road was identified by the county as a long-range strategy to improve traffic flow within and around Waikapū Village, and provide an alternate route between Kahului and Wailuku, according to a final Environmental Assessment for the project.
The EA document identified four terminus alternatives including:
- Old Quarry Road Terminus (preferred alternative): The location would follow the Maui Island Plan’s Small Town Boundary and bypass the proposed Waikapū Tropical Plantation’s internal roadway network.
- Kuihelani Highway and Honoapiʻilani Highway (eliminated): This alternative was eliminated early on from further analysis. In addition to adding another approach to the intersection, it would have resulted in the the intersection of roads at extremely acute angles, and the realignment of the Honoapiʻilani Highway.
- King Kamehameha/Kahili Golf Course (not preferred): The alternative would have required a longer extension of Waiale, resulting in a significant increase in cost without corresponding benefit to traffic turning movements or volume.
- Maui Tropical Plantation (not preferred): The alternative would have resulted in a much shorter extension that would have saved money, but would have resulted in an increase in traffic congestion compared to the Old Quarry Road option.
According to the EA, there was a single archaeological site documented within the project area. The site is described as a historic era boulder terrace located on the south bank of the Waikapū Stream in an area under a proposed bridge crossing.
A secondary part of the project calls for improvements of East Waikō Road, extending 4,600 feet from the Waiʻale/East Waikō Road intersection eastward to the Kuihelani Highway.
According to the EA, the project is aimed at improving capacity by:
- Increasing the viability of Waiʻale Road as an alternate route to the Honoapiʻilani and Kuihelani Highways through Waikapū;
- Improving access to the two highways for future growth within Waikapū and Wailuku; and
- Reducing turning movements to and from the Honoapiʻilani Highway from Kuikahi Drive and East Waikō Road, which otherwise serve as the only means of accessing the Honoapiʻilani Highway in the area.
Both projects will be funded by the County of Maui.
A Final Environmental Assessment was conducted, with a finding of no significant impact.