By Jeff King
Somewhere “very, very…very hot” must have frozen over. After what seems an eternity, one of the most bone-jarring road experiences known to mortal man will soon begin to become a fading memory.
Hansen Road in Central Maui is almost finished. And to prove to skeptics and scoffers who were convinced they’d see the Pearly Gates before they’d see a smooth Hansen Road, Maui County is inviting up-close inspections prior to actually letting cars and trucks traverse the windy, narrow, (now-formerly) pock-marked span.
The County of Maui Department of Public Works invites the public to take a bike ride or run along Hansen Road prior to its reopening to motor vehicle traffic on November 7. Hansen Road has been closed since the reconstruction project began in March of this year to improve the road as well as add a bike lane on both sides of the road.
Participants are asked to arrive at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7 and meet next to the HC&S administrative offices along Hansen Road; the ride will begin at 9 a.m. after a bike safety briefing by members of the Maui Police Department’s Kihei Bicycle Patrol. The event will conclude at 10:45 a.m. in order to prepare the road to be officially reopened to traffic later that afternoon.
Some parking will be available at the HC&S administrative offices parking lot, and at the Kahului Target parking lot, provided vehicles are parked in the spaces farthest from the store. Participants parking at the Target parking lot can use the bike path on Mokulele Highway to get to Hansen Road.
Bicyclists will ride from Puunene Avenue to Hana Highway and back; riders under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is no cost to participate; however, all riders are required to wear a helmet.
Runners are also invited to participate, and are asked to keep in mind that the distance on Hansen Road between Puunene Avenue and Hana Highway is two miles each way. Riders/runners need to be off the road by 10:45 a.m.
Children and adults are welcome to wear a post-Halloween costume during the event, as long as the costume does not interfere with vision, the wearing of bicycle helmets or bicycle operation.
“This will be a great way to see the improvements on Hansen Road, our new bridge at Kalialinui Gulch, and the views of the mill and the Central Valley on your bike or in your running shoes – with no cars!” said Public Works Director David Goode. “I look forward to seeing many folks out there.”
For more information on the reopening of Hansen Road or the Ride/Run event, please call the Department of Public Works at 270-7845.
And just think…someday you can tell your grandkeiki that you survived Hansen Road “way back in the olden days.”