DOT suggests buying the Road to Hana in order to control overcrowding

Road to Hana
Road to Hana(Hawaii News Now)
Published: Jul. 15, 2021 at 9:51 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 15, 2021 at 10:00 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As heavy traffic continues to clog the popular Road to Hana on Maui, transportation leaders suggested the state should buy the highway in order to control congestion.

In a virtual town hall meeting Thursday, the Hawaii Tourism Authority compared the road to an electrical conduit, saying too much current and it will blow out.

Thus, to alleviate traffic, the state Department of Transportation said the state could buy back the road from the federal government.

Currently, the highway is federally funded, meaning that toll roads and fees can’t be implemented.

“We’re still investigating those options to see how we could potentially take control of that roadway, to shut it down to anybody but residents or shut it down in particular areas,” said Ed Sniffen, DOT deputy director.

During the meeting, state and county leaders also brainstormed other options to mitigate traffic and illegal parking on Hana Highway.

The state said it is also considering a park-and-ride shuttle that would bring visitors from the airport down the highway — but said while this could help, they cannot force people to use it.

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