Central Oahu development boom fuels traffic concerns

Melissa Vomvoris
Melissa Vomvoris

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

MILILANI/WAIPIO (KHNL) - The Kapolei Ewa region is dubbed as the up and coming second city, but population-wise, there's actually another development boom that could be just as large, if not larger.

Question is, can roads in the area handle it all?

Thousands of new homes slated for Central Oahu has Mililani, Waipio and Waikele residents alarmed, especially since the already congested H-2 freeway, is the only main artery in and out of Central Oahu.

In three years, the first of 1500 homes will appear in Waiawa. By 2012, 3500 more will sprout on this farmland.

It's all part of Castle and Cooke's Koa Ridge development, slated for Central Oahu.

As shown from Chopper 8, the project site is near Mililani and Waipio. Waiawa Gentry also calls for an additional 5,000 homes in this area as well.

And residents fear, headaches created by the addition of 10,000 plus new homes will make H-2 traffic unbearable.

"And being the fact that the rail is not going to come out to Mililani and being that our growth is going to be so large that it's not in the making and it really concerns us because we're all going to driving on that one way in one way out to Central Oahu," said Melissa Vomvoris, a Mililani resident.

Residents say they're for growth, as long as its smart growth.

"Where the homes go in the roads go in at the same time, the schools go in at the same time so it all meshes together and the impact is a lot less yes there will also be a impacts but we can minimize them with proper planning," said Vomvoris.

Castle and Cooke says it plans to spend more than $50,000 for interchange and roadway improvements.

It's also working with the Department of Transportation to address traffic concerns. The developer says it is willing to fork out the money to address those concerns, it's just a matter of figuring out what's the best solution.

Castle and Cooke also plans to reduce traffic by building a major employment center at Koa Ridge. That way, people who live there, can work there rather than commuting.

Groundbreaking for Koa Ridge and Castle & Cooke Waiawa is set for 2009.