REPORT: HCA March 28, 2018 Public meeting on Pa’ia Bypass draws large crowd.
Quote of the night: “Has any community on Maui waited longer for a solution to persistent traffic problem than the Northshore community? The answer from state DOT rep:“No.”

Mahalo to all the local residents who came out to share their ideas and questions at the March 28 HCA meeting focusing on Pa’ia Bypass/ Relief Route currently under consideration by the State Highways Division. HCA wants to thank Robin Shishido of Hawaii Dept of Transportation Maui office and Lauren Armstrong of the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization (coordinates state-County and Federal transportation planning) who were both on hand to answer community questions. Archaeologists from Cultural Survey’s Hawaii were also present to invite local residents to participate in a required Cultural Impact Assessment and Federal 106 cultural impact consultation process for the Pa’ia Relief Route. They will host a public meeting on April 17 in the Pa’ia area and pass out flyers.

HCA presented an informative slide show covering the 50 year history of attempts to construct a bypass and suggested that the most logical route was the road that already existed and had been used by local residents for many decades:  Kala/Sunnyside road to Lower Hamakuapoko road to Holomua. Large maps on display also drew crowds to discuss the best route. Audience members pointed out that the current proposed route begins in a FEMA flood zone that is likely to be impacted by rising sea levels, crosses Baldwin Ave at a location that impacts local residences and has poor sight distance and dumps traffic back onto Hana Hwy at Wa’a Pl. in Kuau, an area with poor sight distance and existing traffic congestion. Many suggested that the fastest and easier solution to the traffic would be to repair and reopen Sunnyside/Kala /Lower Hamakuapoko road route, which audience members indicated was listed in records as being publicly owned. There were also calls to repave Holomua road, which is already being used as a “bypass” of Pa’ia traffic

The State Senate Ways and Means Committee passed a budget (HB 1900 HD 1) out of committee on March 29 that included $21 million of funding for design and construction of the bypass to match around double that amount in federal funds. The budget will need several more votes to pass. There will be a open public meeting of the Pa’ia Relief Route Advisory Committee (PRAG) on April 5, 2018 starting at 5:30 pm at Kaunoa Senior Center in Spreckelsville. The public is invited to come and hear more about the project’s archaeological and cultural review and ask questions.  HCA will continue to keep the community informed on this important issue.
Map Image: existing roads in the Paia- to Maliko Gulch area.