Haleakala, Hana highways work funding released

Approximately $4 million in state funding has been released for improvements to Hana and Haleakala highways, the Governor’s Office has announced.

The money was part of $13.9 million made available statewide for Department of Transportation highways and facilities.

A $2.34 million Hana Highway project is to design and stabilize a slope in the area of Milepost 13. The money will pay for processing a special management area permit, preparing archaeological reports, documenting mitigation plans for impacts to historic structures and conducting public informational meetings.

The stabilization work is part of an overall project to improve the 32-mile highway from Huelo to Hana. Existing drainage facilities also will be improved.

A separate $1.65 million highways project calls for the design and construction of an intersection at the Haleakala and Kula highways to reduce traffic by installing a right-turn lane and upgrading traffic signals.

Sen. J. Kalani English, chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation and International Affairs, said that recent tropical storms have underscored the importance of state highways.

“In the aftermath of hurricanes Iselle and Julio, we welcome ongoing efforts to ensure that Hana Highway remains viable,” he said. “We know all too well the kind of destruction nature can have on our islands and infrastructure, and as a lifeline to the Hana and Keanae communities, restoring and improving the ‘road to Hana’ is an investment in security and safety.”