Ask the Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: Lahaina no longer has a working railroad but of course the tracks are still in place. Turning mauka off the highway at Kapunakea Road (near Lahaina Cannery Mall and a very busy gas station), one crosses over these abandoned railroad tracks. This part of the street is deteriorating very rapidly. Cars exceeding the speed limit to race through the intersection are projecting asphalt pieces into nearby vehicles. Which agency can send someone to assess this problem? Perhaps asphalting over the rails could be a temporary fix. Mahalo for all your hard work.

A: My office has received several inquiries about this issue. I was able to connect with the new owners of the Sugar Cane Train and they said they completed a temporary repair at this crossing last week. The new owners are working directly with our county Department of Public Works to develop a plan for permanent improvements to all of the railroad crossings.

Q: I would like to know who makes the decision of which roads need resurfacing in priority order. I drive Hana Highway daily from the Haiku turnoff to town. The past month they have been resurfacing Hana Highway from Paia going west. To me, Hana Highway was fine. I guess it is because, in comparison, from my house I drive the three miles of Kokomo Road from Mile Marker 3 to Haiku Cannery, the part they never completed. This portion of the road is 10 times worse than Hana Highway was! Seems like priorities are backward.

A: The priorities you mention are not so much backward as they are separated between state and county. The state’s repaving of Hana Highway is being done in accordance with its own priorities, objectives and funding. As for the county, our pavement management program determines the condition of the road using a rating matrix based on the severity and extent of five types of deterioration: transverse cracking, alligator cracking, longitudinal cracking, patching, potholes and edge cracking. Please note, however, that the pavement management program is used as a guide and other factors are involved in the county’s decisions on any roadwork. The Kokomo Road project is a county project that is utilizing federal funding so that a full, long-lasting road reconstruction can be completed. As you are probably aware, that road is so long that financial constraints prevented it from being reconstructed all at once, so it was broken up into various sections. Our Department of Public Works’ Engineering Division is moving forward with plans to complete Kokomo Road by mid-2018.

Q: I am writing in concern of the closure of the restrooms at Kokua Pool. For the past couple weeks, I’ve been swimming at Kokua Pool and was told the restrooms were closed for over two months because the plumbing needed to be fixed. The county placed two portable toilets there but there is no changing area. The portable potty booth is not a proper changing room. There are no hooks to hang your clothes and towel while undressing and redressing. Plus, the proximity to toilet while changing is too close. I just wanted to know, when will the plumbing at Kokua Pool be fixed? Thank you.

A: Our parks maintenance chief says that the pumps that operate the wastewater pump station at Kokua Pool need to be replaced and then the restrooms will be operational. The contractor estimates that the replacement pump is anticipated to arrive at the end of October and that the restrooms should be open by mid-November, provided there are no shipping delays or unforeseen repairs once work starts.

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email