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Public invited to comment on transportation projects

By Staff | Feb 1, 2018

LAHAINA – The Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) has developed a list of federal-aid Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) projects for Maui Island to be implemented, in various phases, over the next four years.

Projects pertain to planning, design, engineering and construction of state and county roadways with an emphasis on maintaining and preserving existing infrastructure.

Maui Bus projects are also listed for bus operations and to replace old buses.

The public is invited to share input on the project list at community workshops to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 5 at Paia Community Center, Feb. 6 at the West Maui Senior Center in Lahaina, Feb. 7 at Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani, Feb. 8 at Kihei Community Center and Feb. 9 at Kahului Community Center.

“All projects listed are eligible for federal funding and are consistent with the recommendations of the 2014 Maui Long Range Transportation Plan,” said Maui MPO Executive Director Lauren Armstrong.

“The MPO draft TIP list includes projects that alleviate traffic congestion, make it safer for people to walk and bike, provide alternative routes in Paia and Kihei, and address vulnerability to coastal erosion and sea level rise; but with limited funding, we have some tough choices to make.”

Maui County is anticipated to receive $25 million per year in federal funds over the next four years, which will be matched with $6 million in local funds from the state and county for roadways, for a total annual amount of $31 million.

Armstrong added, “We know the estimated total funding over the next four years of $124 million for federal-aid roadways is not sufficient to meet all the transportation needs on the island. The project list is currently at $160 million, and it will need to be pared down to the anticipated funding amount. We are asking the public to provide input on the list to assist in prioritizing the projects.”

Representatives from the county Departments of Public Works, Transportation and Planning will be at the workshops along with representatives from the state Department of Transportation to provide information and answer questions.

Maui MPO Policy Board Member and county Department of Public Works Director David Goode added, “We relied on our asset management systems and performance criteria to develop the initial list of projects. We look forward to working with the public on refining this list to get us within a realistic financial realm.”

For public workshop details, and to view interactive project maps, go to www.mauimpo.org.