Funds in place to extend Kapa’a bypass

There exists funding in the current fiscal year’s state budget to extend the Kapa’a bypass road all the way through Kapa’a town, to Hauaala Road, said state Sen. Gary Hooser (D, Kaua’i, Ni’ihau).

“The funds are available now, as we speak, today, to make that improvement,” he said.

“We’re just waiting on the completion of the design and planning so we can go out to bid,” said Hooser, a Wailua Homesteads resident with a business office in Kapa’a who along with other constituents is getting impatient waiting for Eastside traffic relief.

“I’ve requested a meeting in Honolulu of all the participants, the various agencies, the consultant, and the people, because I want to accelerate the process,” he said.

“I want to get the plans done right away and start building right away, because we don’t have to wait for money. Money is not the problem,” he said.

“We just have to get those plans done, and I’d like to see them get done right away,” he reiterated.

Extending the bypass road to Hau’a’ala would involve using an existing bridge over Moikeha Canal, and would allow southbound traffic to avoid congested Kuhio Highway from Kapa’a to Wailua.

Between Kapa’a and Wailua on Kuhio Highway, half of the signalized highway intersections are currently at or above designed traffic capacity.

Lengthening the bypass road involves less than one mile of new pavement, and would run from the Kapa’a end of the existing bypass road, at its intersection with Olohena Road, behind Kapa’a New Park along an old cane-haul route, to a terminus at Hau’a’ala.

The total cost is just over $4.5 million. That includes $2.5 million for construction in the current state budget, and earlier appropriations of $1.6 million for land acquisition and $400,000 for design.

Also planned is extension of the existing Pouli Road just south of Waipouli Town Center, which would be connected to the existing bypass road near its Wailua end.

That project is longer-term, with a budget of just under $5 million and construction projected in 2007 or 2008, if all necessary funding is secured.

Hooser is also working to move that Pouli Road project up on the state’s priority list for Kaua’i traffic fixes, while other long-term fixes are explored, he said.

A meeting is scheduled on the Kuhio Highway Corridor Improvements on Monday, Jan. 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Kapa’a Middle School.

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