LAHAINA - Gov. Neil Abercrombie and representatives of the state Department of Transportation last week Tuesday joined members of the Maui community to dedicate and open the second phase of the Lahaina Bypass Highway.
The $25.8 million second phase, officially known as the Honoapiilani Highway Realignment, Phase 1B-1, stretches for 1.7 miles from Lahainaluna Road to Hokiokio Place.
With the opening of this segment, the Lahaina Bypass now covers a total of 2.5 miles and includes the award-winning Kahoma Stream Bridge.
"The long-awaited Lahaina Bypass provides residents and visitors with traffic relief along with an alternate route in case of disaster or emergencies," Gov. Abercombie said.
"This project is a good example of federal, state and county government working together with the community to get a much-needed project completed."
"The opening of the second part of the first phase of the Lahaina Bypass is a huge milestone for our community," said Rep. Angus McKelvey, a Lahaina resident.
"The residents of Lahainaluna Road will now have better access in and out of their community to Kahului, and the bypass will provide greater traffic efficiency for all of Lahaina. People can now enjoy more quality time with their families at home instead of being stuck in traffic."
Over 30 years ago, the West Maui community recognized that a Lahaina Bypass highway was needed to address traffic congestion along the existing Honoapiilani Highway through Lahaina Town.
Although Honoapiilani Highway has since been widened from two to four lanes, land use densities have increased, and traffic congestion continues to be a problem, the state reported.
"The newest section of the Lahaina Bypass will help to save West Maui residents both time and money," said DOT Director Glenn Okimoto.
"These savings will help to improve the region's quality of life, and we want to thank the residents for their patience with this long-term project."