After more than a decade of planning, crews broke ground on the Manawalea Road extension in Kailua-Kona with a traditional Hawaiian blessing and o'o sticks.
The $6.9 million project is needed to support the area's growing population as new affordable and senior home construction projects are underway.
The road extension will also help alleviate traffic through congested neighborhoods by allowing direct access to Ane Keohokalole Highway.
"So we'll connect the mauka to Ane Keohokalolo Highway, which is a new federally funded highway where (Kealakele) high school sits, where the civic center sits. It also gives another way for people who live mauka to get down to Kailua Kona," said Jon Wallenstrom of Forest city Hawaii.
The project is expected to begin next month and be completed in just over a year.