Karin Stanton/Hawaii247.com Contributing Editor
Residents can have their questions answered about Ane Keohokalole Highway, also called the mid-level road that will link Hina Lani Street with Henry Street.
The road is the subject to a 6 p.m. public meeting Tuesday, June 23 at Kealakehe High School.
The meeting follows the release of the draft Environmental Assessment for the project and is an opportunity to discuss current plans for the road project.
“If people want this road, they need to get out and tell us,” said Bobby Command, the mayor’s executive assistant who is helping spearhead the project. “The meeting is to share what we’re doing, what we need to do and where we are going.”
Mayor Billy Kenoi and federal, state and county officials will address questions about the project at the meeting. Members of the planning and design teams from project consultant Belt Collins Hawaii also are expected to attend the meeting.
The EA indicated the $35 million road will have to bypass ancient burial sites and a dryland forest toward the northern end.
“We know the highway is going to create an impact,” Command said. “We are looking to take the path of maximum preservation. The Federal Highways Administration has agreed to spend a substantial amount on the preservation area to turn it into an interpretive site (along the north side of Palani Road).”
The study corridor included a 400-foot wide swath, which will allow the 120-foot roadway to wrap around sensitive areas.
“We are preserving a much larger area in return for going through a smaller archeological site,” Command said, noting the area includes a 15th-century sweet potato farm.
Phase I is a 1.5 mile link between Palani Road and Kealakehe Parkway, while Phase IA is a 1 mile connection between Kealakehe and Hina Lani. Phase II is the remaining 2 miles out to Palamanui.
Bids are expected to go out in October, which will allow the project to qualify for federal funds. Construction is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2010.
The project must be complete within three years, Command said, or the funds must be returned.
“The only challenge is time,” he said. “We haven’t taken any shortcuts despite the short time we have to do all this.”
For more information, call Command at 327-3602, or Warren Lee, director of the county Department of Public Works, at 961-8321.