Crash that trapped West Oahu residents triggers another call for bypass road
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A car crash in Ko Olina Monday night that shut down all lanes of Farrington Highway in both directions has residents and lawmakers revisiting a push for alternate routes for the Waianae Coast.
There were no major injuries. However, traffic was at a standstill for more than an hour.
"It's starting to become more of a topic because one little accident can basically shut down the entire coastline. That's why we're trying to push the idea of the bypass road,” said Waianae resident Marc Paaluhi.
The state senator for the area said she would like to see a bypass road from Lualualei Naval Road to Ko Olina.
“If we can get to Ko Olina, then from there we will have a true bypass road because Campbell Estate and DOT have partnered and they’re going to make a road that goes from Ko Olina to Kapolei,” said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro.
Shimabukuro said the legislature allocated $8 million for a bypass road, but the funding was only enough to go to Nanakuli Avenue and residents who live in the area didn’t want it.
“When the community heard these plans, understandably, there was a lot of concern because Nanakuli Avenue is one of the main arteries that goes through the Hawaiian Homestead in Nanakuli,” Shimabukuro said.
“When the reality set in that this is going to be a 24/7 road that would use the artery of Nanakuli Avenue and then connect from there to Lualualei Naval Road, the community just wasn’t quite ready for that.”
Paaluhi said roads coming down from the mountains would be a lot less invasive to the communities.
“Take a road mauka from the Kunia Plains up following the natural contour of the mountain range bringing down veins into the different communities,” said Paaluhi. “So it would be dedicated for the people who actually live out here rather than those that would just be coming to sight see or do business – they can stay on Farrington.”
Honolulu City Councilwoman for the coast said in her opinion, the solution isn’t just more roads, it is more jobs.
“I’ve seen a lot of government leaders promote spending a lot of money for traffic relief but really the most economical solution is to take advantage of the new economic opportunity zones the federal government has proposed,” said Kymberly Pine. “Create business economic centers within varies community that have difficulty times with their traffic congestion. That would tremendously help Waianae and encouraging residents from never even having to leave the coast.”
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