Phase II Portion of Hilo Bay Front Trails Clears HurdlesMay 8, 2019, 7:26 PM HST (Updated May 8, 2019, 7:26 PM)
Hilo Bay Front Trails, in conjunction with the County of Hawai‘i reports that the Phase II portion of the trail has cleared all major permitting and funding hurdles. Phase II, shown on the attached map, will provide some much needed connectivity to downtown and around the Bay Front soccer fields. It is anticipated that construction will start before the end of the year.
According to a release from Hilo Bay Front Trails:
“Today, we’ve gathered the major stakeholders who have supported Hilo Bay Trails through grants, dedicated transportation monies and individual donors. Our greatest benefactor, Mr. Ed Olson, will be in attendance to help announce the Phase II beginning. Mr. Olson has committed a $250,000 match to local donors for the trail’s construction. Hilo Bay Front Trails is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, run by 100% volunteers; all of your tax deductible donations go directly to building the trail, there are no paid positions. Our primary fundraising tool is the stenciling of a person’s name, a phrase or business name on the trail: Each ‘square’ (approximately 12’x12’ portion of the trail) is available with your $500 donation. To date, we have received over 50 individual generous donations from people just like you!”
Phase II is budgeted to cost approximately $440,000: Of which Hilo Bay Front Trails—with Mr. Olson’s matching gift—will provide $65,000 and a federal grant from the National Park Service was awarded for $220,000. The county will pay the remainder of approximately $155,000; leveraging local tax dollars against private funds and federal grants for a public resource that will have a life well over 50 years.
Hilo Bay Front Trails is beginning the work on both Phase III and the Banyan Drive loop. Phase III will help connect UH Hilo and the surrounding neighborhoods (see attached map) to downtown.
The Banyan Loop will help provide a scenic route for the cruise ship visitors and Keaukaha community to downtown. The Kalanianaole Street reconstruction, currently underway, will provide wide sidewalks and bike lanes to help create a safe and scenic corridor to the Banyan peninsula and beyond.