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State DOT proposes change in plans for Lahaina Bypass

By Staff | May 17, 2012

Shoreline erosion patterns from Puamana to Launiupoko factored in the state Department of Transportation’s decision to move the southern terminus of the Lahaina Bypass Highway.

LAHAINA – The state Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration, proposes relocating the southern terminus of the Lahaina Bypass Highway from its current point at Launiupoko to the vicinity of the former Olowalu Landfill, a distance of approximately 4,800 lineal feet.

The Relocation of the Lahaina Bypass Southern Terminus Draft Environmental Assessment is available for review at oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/EA_and_EIS_Online_Library/Maui/2010s/2012-05-08-DEA-Relocation-of-Lahaina-Bypass-Southern-Terminus.pdf.

Although the terminus is aimed to be moved approximately 4,800 feet to the south as measured along Honoapiilani Highway, the length of the new right-of-way corridor will be approximately 10,300 lineal feet.

According to the EA, “The basic configuration of the Lahaina Bypass Project in terms of functional traffic flow will not change; the location of the proposed terminus will simply be shifted further south. The roadway’s alignment will still intersect with Kai Hele Ku Street; however, the location of this intersection will be shifted mauka or inland. There will be no additional intersections created as a result of the proposed terminus relocation.”

Erosion along the highway in the Launiupoko area and a projected rise in traffic congestion between the current bypass terminus point at Launiupoko to the vicinity of the Olowalu Landfill site are cited as reasons for the change in plans.

Charlene Shibuya of the state DOT explained the roadway’s southern terminus change to Fifth District Sen. Rosalyn Baker in an e-mail last week: “Considerations were given to the current shoreline erosion patterns along Puamana to Launiupoko and advancing the objective of the Honoapiilani Highway Realignment/Widening, Maalaea to Launiupoko study to establish a better point of connecting further south.

“The proposed relocated terminus is at the ‘pinchpoint’ between the former Olowalu Landfill and the shoreline. This alternative is also consistent with the 2005 Pali to Puamana Parkway Master Plan and policies in the West Maui Community Plan to realign portions of the existing highway impacted from coastal processes.”

The public may comment on the Draft EA until June 7. Send comments to the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation, 869 Punchbowl St., Honolulu, HI 96813, Attention Darell Young; Munekiyo & Hiraga Inc., 305 High St., Suite 104, Wailuku, HI 96793, Attention Mark Alexander Roy; and Office of Environmental Quality Control, 235 South Beretania St., Suite 702, Honolulu, HI 96813.

The first two phases of the Lahaina Bypass – Phase 1A from Keawe Street to Lahainaluna Road, and Phase 1B-1 from Lahainaluna Road to Hokiokio Road – are expected to be finished in late 2012.