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LETTER: Time Has Passed for Kawaihae Bypass

February 10, 2015, 4:18 PM HST
* Updated February 10, 4:21 PM
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The proposed Daniel K. Inouye Highway extension should remain on the STIP in lieu of the Kawaihae bypass.

Yes, I know the Kamuela community has tried to advance the Kawaihae bypass for a very long time. However, I believe the time to construct this highway has passed.

The cost of the Kawaihae bypass has increased to 280 million dollars. HDOT estimated the cost of this project to be about 130 million dollars back in 2009. I don’t think its prudent to commit this much federal highway funds to one project, especially when there is other highway projects statewide in dire need of funding.

The Federal Highway Trust Fund is practically insolvent. This means there will be less Federal highway funds available over the next couple years. This is why we need to take a long, hard look at what highway projects should move forward and which ones shouldn’t.

I firmly believe constructing a mini-bypass road around the dry side of Kamuela, doing safety improvements to the existing Kawaihae Road, and constructing the  Daniel K. Inouye Highway Extension will help ease Kawaihae Road’s traffic and safety deficiencies.

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Aaron Stene

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Kailua-Kona

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