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Kona’s Ana Keohokalole Highway to Open Saturday

June 19, 2012, 6:23 PM HST
* Updated June 20, 3:25 PM
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***Updated at 3 p.m. Wednesday to correct wrong information provided by the county about the length of the highway and date of groundbreaking.***

A public ceremony will be held Saturday to unveil the $30.5 million Ana Keohokalole Highway.

The 2.9-mile roadway also known as the “mid-level highway” was originally designed to connect Palani Road  to the West Hawaii Civic Center, with only preliminary ground work for a one-mile extension to Hina Lani Street.

However, county officials said the county Department of Public Works was able save almost $3 million from the original budget and that was used to finish paving the additional stretch.

A large portion of the land for the project was donated by the Queen Liliuokalani Trust, which will benefit from the road through commercial development to support its children’s programs.

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The new highway will also facilitate development of the Kamakana Village affordable housing project and the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’s expansion of Laiopua Village and its planned community center.

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Mayor Billy Kenoi said the new highway will facilitate the creation of a safe and vibrant community through the opening of opportunities for affordable homes, shelters for the homeless and places and avenues to work and play.

“This highway will make an immediate and lasting positive impact on West Hawaiʻi residents who have long deserved traffic relief,” Kenoi said in a statement issued today.

Groundbreaking for the project was held in March 2010.

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The highway is named after the mother of Liluokalani, the last monarch of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

It is the first major road to be built by the county on the Big Island since statehood, county officials said. It is also the largest expenditure in Hawaii of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.

Saturday’s ceremony will begin at noon at the West Hawaii Civic Center.

 

 

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