Efforts underway to alleviate Leeward Coast's traffic woes

Efforts underway to alleviate Leeward Coast's traffic woes

NANAKULI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Elected officials met with Leeward Coast community members on Monday to discuss efforts underway to alleviate gridlock in the area.

A top priority is to extend the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road from Helelua Street to Nanakuli Avenue. Last year, $6 million in combined city and state funds was acquired in hopes to make this happen.

"That will possibly have to go through Helelua Park, come out on Mokuawe Street somewhere in that area so then people can use the back roads to get out at Nanakuli Avenue," said state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro.

The money would also create a permanent secondary access road to and from the Waianae Coast. State Rep. Cedric Gates introduced a bill asking the Department of Transportation to develop these plans.

"We're not just limiting ourselves to one route we want to see a variety of options we can present to the community," said Gates.

But the work would require building through the Nanakuli Hawaiian Homestead Community and not everyone is on board.

"They're going to come through Hawaiian peoples land and I don't think that's right," said Kealii Kamana, a Nanakuli resident.

William Aila, of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, spoke at Monday night's meeting to help ease confusion about the projects.

Meanwhile, the completion date of the state's Farrington Highway intersection improvements project has been pushed to the end of this year, due to a delay in construction plans.

DOT officials say the current contraflow lane between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. is offering some sort of traffic relief and that over 1,000 more vehicles are able to get through the Waianae Coast because of the added lane.

Elected officials say they have until the end of 2018 to encumber the $6 million.

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