The Maui News - With the state Legislature approving $3.6 million for preliminary work on the Kihei-Upcountry highway earlier this month, it appears the project is finally moving ahead--more than 30 years after the new highway was first conceived.
But Maui residents shouldn't expect the 9.6-mile highway from Haleakala Highway's intersection with Hali'imaile Road to the Pi'ilani Highway and Ka'ono'ulu Road intersection in Kihei anytime soon, state Department of Transportation officials said.
Speaking as an individual and not on behalf of his organization, Kihei Community Association President Mike Moran said he's concerned about more traffic coming to already-congested Kihei. More people in South Maui also could contribute to overcrowding at the region's public parks, he said.
Moran said he prefers an alternative for the highway's South Maui terminus, moving it farther south to allow more direct access to Wailea and Makena and giving people in those areas another escape route in an emergency.
The state is targeting funding for federal fiscal year 2014. The highway's first phase will run from Hali'imaile Road to Omaopio Road.