Maui News

Mayor announces $25M federal grant for Waiʻale Road extension

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An aerial photo shows the area for the planned extension of Waiʻale Road. PC: County of Maui / Shane Tegarden

Mayor Michael Victorino announced today the County of Maui will be awarded $25 million for the Waiʻale Road extension through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity discretionary grant program.

Senator Brian Schatz shared the news with the mayor immediately after US Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg notified the senator of the grant approval.

“Upgrading infrastructure to expedite affordable housing construction for our residents is one of my top priorities,” said Mayor Victorino in a county issued press release. “This multimillion-dollar investment in Maui County will improve road safety and alleviate traffic, but more importantly, it will green light construction of 1,666 Central Maui units that residents can afford to rent or purchase. I want to thank Senator Schatz for advocating on our behalf for this crucial RAISE grant.”

Mayor Michael Victorino meets last month with US Sen. Brian Schatz and Ed Sniffen, deputy director of the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation. PC: County of Maui / Shane Tegarden
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According to the US Department of Transportation, RAISE grant projects are merit-based and evaluated by statutory criteria such as safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness and opportunity, state of good repair, partnerships and innovation.

“I want to acknowledge the partners who helped make our RAISE grant application a success,” said Jordan Molina, Department of Public Works Director. “Mahalo to the State DOT and Hawaii Community Foundation for helping us to submit a very competitive application. Thanks to Waikapu Country Town for its willingness to modify its affordable housing plans to strengthen our case, and to the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization for identifying the Waiale Road extension as a priority project in its Transportation Improvement Plan. Special thanks to the Maui County Council for its enduring commitment to this project.”

The planned extension will connect Waiʻale Road with Honoapiʻilani Highway to improve traffic flow in the Waikapū area and provide an alternate route between Kahului and Wailuku.

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Bidding is expected to open before the end of 2024. Once construction begins, it will take about 18 months to complete the project. The total project cost is estimated to be $34 million to be funded by County, State and Federal sources.

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