Residents, businesses celebrate opening of new truck-only road

Residents, businesses celebrate opening of new truck-only road
Published: Dec. 14, 2015 at 7:08 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2015 at 8:29 PM HST
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KALIHI (HawaiiNewsNow) - It won't be open to public traffic, but people in the Kalihi Kai area are thrilled about a new truck-only roadway.

"It's going to be a welcome relief for people who drive in this neighborhood to not have to deal with 1,600 trucks a day," said State Rep. Karl Rhoads, whose district includes Kalihi Kai.

Previously, large cargo trucks would head down Sand Island Access Road, then turn onto Auiki Street in order to deliver their contents.

That's no longer the case.  Road no. 2, as it's called, will allow trucks to bypass Auiki entirely.

The relatively low-cost solution  -- at $150,000 -- won't just benefit residents and small businesses in the area, but will also increase efficiency for transport companies by an estimated 20 percent. That could mean more good news for the consumer, officials said.

Gareth Sakakida, executive director of the Hawaii Transportation Association, said the truck traffic was bad for businesses and residents.

"We've had trucks backed up halfway down Auiki Street because of the need to get freight into Young Brothers to distribute to the rest of our neighbors on the Neighbor Islands," he said.

Darrell Young, deputy director of the state Department of Transportation's Harbors Division, said the new road is aimed at facilitating "the effective movement of goods (which) will help us try to keep the cost down to our neighbors on Neighbor Islands, and the people of Honolulu as much as possible."

It's not yet clear how much the new road will actually save, but state and city officials plan to study the issue to determine if the addition is actually working.

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