Ask the Mayor: When Will Kaupakalua Road be Fixed?

May 18, 2015, 7:21 AM HST · Updated May 25, 7:19 AM
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Kaupakalua. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Kaupakalua Road between Kauhikoa and West Kuiaha roads has become almost undriveable after any kind of rainstorm. File photo by Wendy Osher.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Dear Mayor,

Q: I am a property owner on Kaupakalua Road in Haʻikū. Kaupakalua Road between Kauhikoa and West Kuiaha roads has become almost undriveable after any kind of rainstorm. The road has become very unsafe, with drivers on the opposite side of the road to avoid the potholes.

My wife and I have spoken numerous times with the County of Maui road staff at the Makawao office about the situation and about fixing the roads. The staff has been very professional and responsive about filling the potholes after each rainstorm, but they also express their frustration that “filling the potholes doesn’t do much and the road will not survive until it is re-paved in 2018.”

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My question is, what is the process for either getting the timeline for re-paving Kaupakalua Road moved up from 2018 to something that aligns with the realistic life of the road in this section, and/or what is the process for getting the sections where the potholes are worst resurfaced until the road can be properly repaved?

I appreciate your time and energy on addressing our neighborhood challenge.

A: Our Public Works staff as well as the Mayor’s Office have definitely been hearing about the horrible conditions of this road, and the fact that all the pothole patching our public works crews have been doing recently has been washed away by more recent rains.

I was pleased to learn that Public Works will be repaving the really bad sections of Kaupakalua by the end of June, once our county paving equipment is moved out of the Kahakuloa area after the repaving of Kahekili Highway is complete.

Repaving these troubled sections will eliminate most of the constant pothole patching that we have been doing on the completely failed roadway sections. The maintenance funds available to our highways crews will be directed toward the worst areas first.

However, due to the existing conditions of the road, repaving will still be a stop-gap measure that will hopefully buy us enough time until the reconstruction project can get underway. The big project to reconstruct Kaupakalua Road will take a few years to iron out all the right-of-way issues, design work and final plan approvals by state Department of Transportation according to federal guidelines.

Additionally, funding must be approved by moving other projects out a year so this road will get a higher priority due to its rapidly deteriorating condition. The federal process is time-consuming, but Public Works is moving it up the list as quickly as possible.

Once completed, the reconstructed roadway (similar to Kokomo Road or Haliʻimaile Road), is expected to last 25-30 years.

Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.

 

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