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Big Isle projects share in state’s $1.8B plan

MEDIA RELEASE

Gov. Linda Lingle, mayors, legislators, construction industry executives and labor leaders this week announced $1,865,522,037 in public infrastructure improvement projects statewide as part of an effort to stimulate the economy and create jobs.  

The plan focuses on 1,521 projects statewide that already have been budgeted and approved by the Legislature and are ready to start construction within the next 18 months.

Investing in capital improvement projects (CIP) and the modernization of Hawaii’s infrastructure is a major part of the governor’s five-point action plan to stimulate the economy. 

Other components of the five-point plan include increasing tourism marketing and outreach; lowering business fees and providing tax relief; attracting private investment, especially in renewable energy technology; and maximizing federal dollars and partnerships.

To keep the public informed of the progress of the various projects, all 1,521 projects are posted on the governor’s Web site (www.hawaii.gov/cip).

“By putting the projects online and updating the public on their status in a timely manner, we are keeping the pressure on ourselves to ensure the projects keep moving,” Lingle said. “The public will be able to pinpoint what stage the project is in, and if there are bottlenecks such as permit delays, they will know exactly who to contact and who to hold accountable.”

The CIP projects identified by the administration span all six major islands, including $1,002,675,910 (803 projects) for Oahu; $406,713,790 (327 projects) for the Big Island; $259,836,677 (217 projects) for Maui; $143,850,497 (111 projects) for Kauai; $25,963,460 (35 projects) for Molokai; and $9,283,714 (18 projects) for Lanai. In addition, there are 10 statewide projects that total $17,197,989.

The CIP projects build on the progress of the state’s $2.3 billion airport modernization plan and the $618 million harbor modernization plan, and also include highway improvements; repairs, maintenance and new construction at public school, university, and community college campuses statewide; public library upgrades and repairs; small boat harbor upgrades and expansion; affordable housing and Hawaiian Homes construction; public housing facility repairs and renovations; hospital and health care facility improvements; correctional facility renovations; agricultural irrigation improvements; hurricane shelter retrofits; state park improvements; state building repairs and improvements and energy efficiency projects.

The administration’s focus on increasing public construction activity comes as private building permits have seen an 8.8 percent decrease to $240 million in the first nine months of 2008, and the number of permits for residential housing units statewide have decreased by 30.6 percent to 3,937 units. During the same period government (federal, state and county) contracts awarded also decreased by $72.2 million or 9.6 percent. 

The decreases in private construction permits and government contracts were partially offset by ongoing military housing initiatives. State capital improvement project expenditures were up $362 million or 44 percent for the first nine months of 2008.

Among the Big Island projects:

* Kona Airport Parking Lot Expansion Phase III (estimated cost: $7,105,000; estimated construction start: January 2009)

* Construction of Inter-Island Cargo Terminal Facility at Hilo Harbor – Dredging (estimated cost: $20,000,000; estimated construction start: March 2009)

* Keaukaha Military Reservation Joint Military Center, Phase I (estimated cost: $50,768,000; estimated construction start: May 2009)

* University of Hawaii – Hilo, Student Services Building Addition and Renovation (estimated cost: $21,700,000; estimated construction start: June 2009)

* Queen Kaahumanu Highway Widening, Phase II (estimated cost: $77,199,999; estimated construction start: September 2009)

* Laiopua Village 5, House Construction, 50 to 100 Homes, Developer Financed for DHHL (estimated cost: $17,000,000; estimated construction start: November 2009)

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