A blessing and dedication ceremony was held today for Kona’s Laaloa Avenue extension project, which creates 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, connects Alii Drive with Kuakini Highway mauka.
The Laaloa Avenue extension will ease congestion in the region, aid in emergency evacuations, and allow motorists to reach their destinations safely and efficiently while maintaining the ambience of scenic Alii Drive.
The project has been one of the top priorities of the Kona Community Development Plan.
“The Kona community has been asking for more mauka-makai connectors for many years, and we want to thank the many people who worked hard to make this project a reality,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “More efficient traffic flow means our residents can spend less time on the road, and more time with their families.”
The project extends Laaloa Avenue to Kuakini Highway, and makes improvements at the Kuakini Highway and Laaloa intersection that include a new traffic signal as well as acceleration, deceleration and turn lanes.
The project also includes improvements to the makai portion of Laaloa through the White Sands Beach Estates and Alii Heights subdivisions.
Total cost of the project was $12.24 million, and the contractor was Isemoto Contracting Company Ltd.
The Laaloa project is part of a larger push by the Kenoi administration for an array of traffic improvements in West Hawaii, including major improvements to Kaiminani Drive; construction of the Mamalahoa Highway Bypass to ease the flow of traffic in and out of South Kona; and construction of the Ane Keohokalole Highway in North Kona.