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Community in contact with the DOT concerning the bypass

By Staff | Dec 14, 2017

After our article on the Lahaina Bypass ran last week, we received more information on the state Department of Transportation’s plans for the busy Keawe Street intersection.

According to a DOT official, “There will be a second left turn lane added to turn onto Keawe Street from Highway 30, but it is not at the expense of the northbound through lane through the intersection. The right turn lane from Keawe Street onto Highway 30 will be a ‘free’ right turn lane into the existing mauka through lane (this is the reason the mauka through lane is eliminated through the intersection).

“With the new segment of the bypass, it is anticipated the majority of the traffic headed north will come from the bypass. There isn’t enough right-of-way width to accommodate the two through lanes and a ‘free’ right acceleration/merge lane. It is a tradeoff with the through traffic on Highway 30, but we believe this will be the best layout with the majority of traffic coming from the bypass.”

We received a lot of feedback on last week’s bypass story.

For motorists driving north into Lahaina, will going onto the bypass at Olowalu and then coming down into Lahaina at Kai Hele Ku Street, Hokiokio Road, Lahainaluna Road or Keawe Street make traffic better or worse?

At the north end at Keawe Street, will highway intersection roadwork tie up traffic this winter? If the bypass works as planned, will a new traffic bottleneck be created from Keawe Street north toward Kupunakea Street and beyond?

West Maui Taxpayers Association and county officials met with DOT representatives last week to air concerns about the project and traffic.

After the meeting, Joe Pluta of WMTA wrote, “We know that we made progress today in identifiable alternatives and a growing trust in that we have a mutual appreciation for the challenges ahead.”

Pluta also reported that Robin Shishido of DOT will be a featured presenter at the upcoming West Maui Community Event hosted by WMTA on Jan. 9, 2018, at the West Maui Senior Center at 5:30 p.m.

“The community needs to clearly see and understand what we saw and heard today,” Pluta added.

Stay tuned. It’s positive that DOT is in contact with the West Maui community and willing to make operational adjustments to its plans.

All we want are effective traffic solutions.