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Western bypass road opens

PO‘IPU — Ala Kalanikaumaka Road, also known as the Western Bypass Road, was officially opened to public traffic yesterday after a blessing and dedication ceremony.

Connecting the Po‘ipu roundabout with Lawai Road just below the ‘Oma‘o Road intersection, the road spans 1.5 miles with a speed limit of 25 mph.

“It is now part of the county’s road systems,” said Gini Kapali, the community outreach officer for Kukui‘ula Development Company. “That means the police have the authority to ticket drivers who violate the speed limit.”

Kapali said the scenic road that connects the gateway to Po‘ipu with the upper section of old Koloa town was built for $15 million through general contractor Kiewit Pacific, a Hawai‘i-based company.

“We know Kaua‘i’s residents have been anticipating the completion of Ala Kalanikaumaka,” Kukui‘ula Development Company President Richard Holtzman says in a press release. “This thoroughfare will be a wonderful asset for South Shore commuters and we’re especially proud to finish this project as promised — before construction work on any of our homes begins.”

Ala Kalanikaumaka was built by Kukui‘ula Development Company as a requirement for the company’s development project in Po‘ipu, a county press release states.

The new road is scheduled to be a part of the inaugural Kaua‘i Marathon route in September 2010.

Ala Kalanikaumaka was named in honor of Hawai‘i’s late Queen Emma and translates to mean “the chiefess to whom everyone looks.”

At the foot of Ala Kalanikaumaka Road on the Po‘ipu end, the road connects with Kukui‘ula Village which is on target to open in the summer of 2009. The shopping center will feature a collection of regional cuisine restaurants and casual cafes, national and local retailers, commercial offices and interactive and entertainment venues.

“The road is already popular with people trying to deliver products to the Grand Hyatt Regency Kaua‘i area,” Kapali said. “But we want to stress motorists to observe the speed limit.”

The lower speed limit allows motorists to enjoy the beautiful sunsets that have been taking place over the past few days, she added.

The county press release encourages motorists to allow additional time for slow-moving equipment and construction vehicles while driving through the area.

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