Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: I am a property owner on Kaupakalua Road in Haiku. Kaupakalua Road between Kauhikoa and West Kuiaha roads has become almost undriveable after any kind of rainstorm. The road has become very unsafe to drive, with drivers now driving on the opposite side of the road to avoid the potholes. My wife and I have spoken numerous times with the County of Maui road staff at the Makawao office about the situation and about fixing the roads. The staff has been very professional and responsive about filling the potholes after each rainstorm, but they also express their frustration that “filling the potholes doesn’t do much and the road will not survive until it is re-paved in 2018.” My question is: What is the process for either 1) Getting the timeline for re-paving Kaupakalua Road moved up from 2018 to something that aligns with the realistic life of the road in this section, and/or 2) What is the process for getting the sections where the potholes are worst resurfaced until the road can be properly repaved? I appreciate your time and energy on addressing our neighborhood challenge.
A: Our Public Works staff as well as the Mayor’s office, have definitely been hearing about the horrible conditions of this road, and the fact that all the pothole patching our public works crews have been doing recently has been washed away by more recent rains. I was pleased to learn that Public Works will be repaving the really bad sections of Kaupakalua by the end of June, once our County paving equipment is moved out of the Kahakuloa area after the repaving of Kahekili Highway is complete. Repaving these troubled sections will eliminate most of the constant pothole patching that we have been doing on the completely failed roadway sections. The maintenance funds available to our Highways crews will be directed toward the worst areas first. However, due to the existing conditions of the road, repaving will still be a stop-gap measure that will hopefully buy us enough time until the reconstruction project can get underway. The big project to reconstruct Kaupakalua Road will take a few years to iron out all the right-of-way issues, design work and final plan approvals by State DOT according to federal guidelines. Additionally, funding must be approved by moving other projects out a year so this road will get a higher priority due to its rapidly deteriorating condition. The federal process is time-consuming, but Public Works is moving it up the list as quickly as possible. Once completed, the reconstructed roadway (similar to Kokomo Road or Haliimaile Road), is expected to last 25-30 years.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: I saw on the TV news last night that schoolchildren and residents on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island will be making leis to place on the graves of veterans buried at Punchbowl Cemetery. However, there was no mention of Maui in the news report. Is there a way to participate in remembering our war heroes with leis on Maui?
A: Yes, the County will be hosting the annual “Blossoms for the Brave” community lei-making event here on the front lawn of the County Building this Friday, May 22, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The public is invited to come sew leis, enjoy free entertainment and talk story with friends and neighbors. Every helping hand counts, as we will need to make 2,700 lei to be placed on each veteran’s grave on Memorial Day at the Maui Veterans Cemetery in Makawao. If you have sturdy flowers and/or foliage to share, you can bring by your floral and greenery contributions to the County Building on Friday morning starting at 8:30 a.m. Pre-sewn lei donations are also welcome; finished size should be 16 inches in length. Loose flowers are also needed for the aerial flower drop on Memorial Day; they can be dropped off at the Friday event. Blossoms for the Brave is sponsored by Kaunoa Senior Services, the County of Maui Dept. of Housing & Human Concerns, and my office. Parking in Wailuku town can be tight, so a free shuttle is available between the County Building and the Ichiro “Iron” Maehara Baseball Stadium at War Memorial. The shuttle runs every half hour from 8:30 a.m. with last return shuttle at 1:30 p.m. For more information, call Kaunoa Senior Center at 270-7308.
Q: When will the Kahului Airport Bypass Road be completed? Phase 1 & phase 2?
A: According to the State Department of Transportation, completion of the Airport Access Road, Phase I, is anticipated in July 2015 and Phase II in January 2016.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.
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