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Stene: DKI before Kawaihae Road

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By Aaron Stene | Special to Hawaii 24/7

The South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee recently submitted a letter criticizing the HDOT for deleting the proposed Waimea Bypass from the FY2015-2018 +2 STIP in lieu of the Daniel K. Inouye (formerly Saddle Road) extension.

I agree Kawaihae Road is in dire need of safety improvements. There is no way this can be disputed. However, I don’t think it is fiscally prudent to construct a 5 mile bypass road that would benefit only a small subset of the population.

The Daniel K. Inouye Highway extension, on the other hand, will reduce the amount of traffic on both Waikoloa Road and Kawaihae Road.

Both of these substandard roadways are currently handling inbound and outbound military and commercial traffic heading back and forth from Kawaihae.

It would make sense to construct a new highway between Queen Kaahumanu and Daniel K. Inouye Highway to relieve the burden on Kawaihae and Waikoloa Roads.

The U.S. Highway Trust Fund is practically insolvent, so I strongly believe we need to construct highway projects that will benefit the most people.

I believe the Daniel K. Inouye Highway extension is the best choice in these fiscally constrained times.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

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