'It won't be a good fix': Nanakuli church opposes planned bypass road

Updated: Sep. 19, 2017 at 7:28 PM HST
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( Image: Hawaii News Now )
( Image: Hawaii News Now )

NANAKULI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A proposal to build an emergency bypass road through a section of Nanakuli is meeting strong resistance that could derail the plan.

The road would run between Helelua Street and Haleakala Avenue and join other bypass roads.

"We really need to get this thing on the road now," said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro.

She secured $3 million in state funding for the road that would help drivers get around emergency shutdowns of Farrington Highway.

But the plan has hit a roadblock on the Haleakala Avenue side.

"Nah. It won't be a good fix," Moses Kamealoha said.

Kamealoha lives on Haleakala Avenue and attends Door of Faith Mission. The bypass would run through the church's property. The pastor wrote a letter urging church members to rally against the road, saying it would limit future church projects.

"They already have plans to do other things on their property. Now if this thing goes through they've got to make adjustments," Kamealoha said.

The bypass would lengthen the alternative route through Waianae and Nanakuli. If approved the emergency road would cut through homestead land, so the Hawaiian Homes Commission will have the final say on whether it gets the green light.

Shimabukuro believes the road is a need, despite the stern opposition.

"Nobody wants a road going through their neighborhood," she said. "The thing I want to emphasize is this would be an emergency access road. It would be only open when there's a declared emergency."

She said there's no truth to a rumor that the church would have to move.

But others who challenge the bypass think it would be better to build a road that runs parallel to Farrington Highway and is open all the time. Shimabukuro said that's the long-range plan that will involve major construction. She said a temporary alternative shouldn't be ignored.

"We want to have this emergency road in place before the next disaster strikes," she said.

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