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Ground broken for $7.8 million Laaloa Avenue extension

(Photo courtesy of the Mayor's Office)

(Photo courtesy of the Mayor’s Office)

MEDIA RELEASE

A blessing and groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday morning for a $7.8 million first phase of Kona’s Laaloa Avenue extension project, creating another critically needed mauka-makai connector road to improve traffic circulation and public safety.

The 1,900 foot extension, complete with sidewalks and bicycle lanes for safe multi-modal travel, will connect Alii Drive with Kuakini Highway mauka.

Currently, the nearest mauka-makai accesses are Royal Poinciana Drive to Lako Street to the north, and King Kamehameha III Road in Keauhou to the south.

An extended Laaloa Avenue will ease congestion in the region, aid in orderly emergency evacuations, and allow motorists to get to their destinations safely and efficiently while maintaining the ambience of scenic Alii Drive.

The project is one of the top priorities of the Kona Community Development Plan.

“We are here because a lot of people worked very hard,” Mayor Billy Kenoi said. “Additional mauka-makai connector roads are essential to improving traffic flow in the region, which in turn improves public safety and the quality of life.”

This first phase will start with improvements at Kuakini Highway that will include a signalized intersection with acceleration, deceleration, and turn lanes.

Isemoto Contracting Company Ltd was awarded the $7.78 million contract for Phase 1. Bids from contractors ranged from $7.78 million to $12 million.

A second phase, set to go to bid later this year, will upgrade the existing Laaloa Avenue through the White Sands Beach Estates subdivision.

Both phases are scheduled for completion in mid-2014.

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