Hawaii unveils US$ 4.2 billion transport plan

By Richard High27 January 2009

Hawaii State Governor Linda Lingle

Hawaii State Governor Linda Lingle

Hawaiian state governor Linda Lingle and state transportation officials have unveiled a US$ 4.2 billion dollar, six-year Highway Modernization Plan.

The plan would implement critical highway projects and programs aimed at reducing traffic congestion, improving highway safety, maintaining roads, and saving motorists time and money, said Governor Lingle.

The Highway Modernization Plan focuses on 183 projects, including 161 projects in the four counties of O‘ahu (76 projects, US$ 1.9 billion), Maui (36 projects, US$ 578.9 million), Big Island (27 projects, US$ 524.7 million) and Kaua‘i (22 projects, US$ 263.4 million).

There are also 22 state-wide projects with an estimated cost of US$ 968 million.

"This Highway Modernization Plan will provide the type of results that all users of our roadways have been waiting for and deserve. It builds on the State's overall efforts to upgrade Hawai‘i's transportation infrastructure, and will complement our Airports Modernization and Harbors Modernization plans that are already underway," said Governor Lingle.

Funding would come from a variety of sources, including increases in fuel tax, state vehicle registration fee, vehicle weight tax, and rental car surcharges projected to begin in mid-2011.

The new tax measures would, added Governor Lingle, generate US$ 2 billion over six years that, when added to the current US$ 1.5 billion highway budget and US$ 500 million in the proposed Federal Economic Stimulus Bill, would provide the US$ 4 billion needed for highway improvements.

O‘AHU (76 projects, US$ 1.9 billion)

On O‘ahu, a number of projects aimed at improving traffic congestion and highway capacity are ready to move forward, including the PM Contraflow Lane project from the Ke‘ehi Interchange to the Waiawa Interchange and the US$ 100 million Middle Street merge widening of an eastbound H-1 Freeway bottleneck from Ola Lane to Vineyard Boulevard. Also included are over US$ 15 million in traffic signal optimization projects at locations around the island.

KAUA‘I (22 projects, US$ 263.4 million)

On Kaua‘i, a number of projects aimed at improving highway capacity are ready to move forward to keep up with the island's growing population. These include the US$ 105 million widening of Kaumuali‘i Highway, US$ 30 million for the replacement of the Waioli, Waipa, and Waikoko Stream Bridges on Kuhio Highway and US$ 12 million for pavement preservation projects.

MAUI, MOLOKA‘I (36 projects, US$ 578.9 million)

On Maui, a number of projects aimed at improving highway capacity are ready to move forward to keep pace with future traffic demands. These include US$ 175 million for the construction of the Lahaina Bypass Road and US$ 186.5 million for the Kihei-Upcountry Road, US$ 25 million would also be earmarked for shoreline protection projects on Honoapiilani Highway, Kahului Beach Road, and North Kihei Road.

BIG ISLAND (27 projects, US$ 524.7 million)

On the Big Island, a number of projects improving highway capacity are ready to move forward, including the US$ 84 million widening of Kuakini highway from Henry Street to Kamehameha III Road and the US$ 183.3 million Kawaihae Road Bypass from Waimea to Kawaihae. About US$ 40 million would also be available for pavement preservation projects around the island.

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