LAHAINA - In an effort to create an alternate local transportation corridor parallel to Honoapiilani Highway and improve traffic circulation in Lahaina, the county Department of Public Works is pursuing the Kuhua Street Extension and Improvement Project.
The county held a public information meeting on the project in Lahaina on Monday evening, after the Lahaina News went to press for this week's issue at 11 a.m.
Two people contacted West Maui County Councilwoman Elle Cochran's office last week to voice concerns about the project.
One is a Kuhua Street resident worried about more traffic. The second commented that the county is paying to expand the roadway to benefit commercial and residential development proposed in the area.
The county is proposing the Kuhua Street extension improvements from Keawe Street south to Front Street, a span of two miles.
According to the project summary, "The proposed project will provide an alternate local transportation corridor parallel to Honoapiilani Highway that will enhance access to the regional roadway network, alleviate existing traffic congestion, and improve circulation, including pedestrian-friendly access by incorporating a landscaped multi-use trail greenway along its entire length.
"It provides a pedestrian-oriented streetscape and gateway westward for connectivity to Lahaina town. The proposed roadway will also serve as an alternate route in the event of emergencies or during unexpected closures of Honoapiilani Highway."
The roadway alignment is mainly east (mauka) and parallel to the existing Mill Street cane haul road until it nears the Lahaina Recreation Center.
Next, the alignment veers around Lahaina Recreation Center between the park and the West Maui Resource Center operated by Ka Hale A Ke Ola, travels west toward Mill Street and terminates across the Front Street intersection with Honoapiilani Highway.
The project includes the intersecting streets of Papalaua Street, Lahainaluna Road, Dickenson Street, Shaw Street and Aholo Road.
Due to severe grade differences at Honoapiilani Highway, Prison Street is currently not identified as an intersecting street.
The County of Maui will need to obtain funding for land acquisition and construction of the project. Lands in the project area are primarily owned by the county and Kaanapali Land Management Corp.
The Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the project was published in the Office of Environmental Quality Control's Environmental Notice on March 23.
The deadline to comment on the Draft EA is April 23.
Written comments may be submitted to the Director's Office, Department of Public Works, 200 South High St., Wailuku, HI 96793 and Munekiyo & Hiraga Inc., 305 High St., Suite 104, Wailuku, HI 96793.