Categorized | Opinions

Stene: Praise for Ane Keohokalole project

(Reader Opinions Disclaimer: This column allows members of the community to share their opinions and views, which do not necessarily reflect those of Hawaii 24/7, its staff, sponsors or anyone other than the writer. Hawaii 24/7 reserves the right to refuse any column deemed to be misinformation, of an unethical nature, a personal attack, or a blatant commercial pitch.)

Hawaii County, Federal Highways Administration, Nan Inc., and Hawaii Department of Transportation did a great job on the Ane Keohokalole project. They were able design, obtain permits, and construct this highway within three years. This is a remarkable feat that should be recognized.

I’ve strongly supported this project for a while. This highway provides an alternative route into Kailua-Kona if an accident closes Palani Road and helps reduce traffic congestion on Queen Kaahumanu. In short, this highway is more than a concrete slab. It helps improve West Hawaii’s roadway connectivity.

Hawaii County and the HDOT should actively seek funding for Phase III segment of this highway. This phase, which would extend Ane Keohokalole Highway to Kaiminani Drive, is estimated to cost between $30-50 million.

It will be a challenge to secure that much funding in the current budgetary climate. However, there isn’t any guarantee the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening project will ever start.

I hope FHWA reallocates this funding to extend the Ane Keohokalole Highway instead, if the Queen Kaahumanu widening project can’t proceed.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

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