State breaks ground on next phase of Lahaina Bypass
LAHAINA — State Department of Transportation (DOT) officials and Goodfellow Bros. Inc. joined the West Maui community in celebrating the groundbreaking of the second phase of the Honoapiilani Highway Realignment Project — also known as the “Lahaina Bypass” — on Friday.
Spanning from Lahainaluna Road to Hokiokio Place, this segment is the second of five phases to construct a four-lane, nine-mile bypass highway from Launiupoko to Honokowai, DOT reported.
Plans call for drainage system improvements, a two-lane bridge structure over the Kauaula Stream bed, utility accommodations, intersection street lighting, pavement markings and signs.
The Federal Highways Administration provided 80 percent matching funds on this $24 million contract.
The state broke ground on the Lahaina Bypass project in December 2008, and the first phase linking Keawe Street to Lahainaluna Road is scheduled to be complete in mid-2012.
Nearly two miles long, this second phase is expected to be finished by the end of 2012.
“West Maui is one of the communities affected most by the downturn in the economy,” said Michael Formby, interim DOT director. “The local unions projected a 50 to 75 percent unemployment rate for those in the construction industry, and that is why we wanted to push forward with the next construction phase.
“The Lahaina Bypass project is on time, on budget and on schedule,” Formby added. “The West Maui community has been waiting patiently for this bypass project for decades, and now this much-needed relief route is becoming a reality.“
Tenth District Rep. Angus McKelvey said, “Phase 1A, which runs from Keawe Street to Lahainaluna, will be completed about the same time as the new Phase 1B1 in 2012.
“By having the construction start now instead of waiting until the previous phase is done, both segments will be completed around the same time, so we have a functional bypass and not just a road to nowhere.”
“We also secured funds last session for the improvement and protection of the existing highway in the Olowalu and Launiupoko area as well,” McKelvey.
Sixth District Sen. J. Kalani English, chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation, International and Intergovernmental Affairs, said, “All of Maui have been waiting for this project to move ahead, and it comes at a time when our local economy really needs the infusion of capital.
“In addition, the infrastructure will ease traffic on the West Side of the island, and shorten the time it takes residents to get to and from work and visitors to get to their destinations.”
For more information, visit the project website at www.hawaii.gov/dot/lahainabypass.