Stop with the fortification and move the highway

The mayor’s pali-to-Puamana parkway plan, a vision of parks and open space for all community members to appreciate and enjoy for generations to come, could be a legacy that everyone from Maui could be proud of.

Unfortunately, after 30 years of county debate, the highway has not yet been moved mauka. Instead, we have seen a $7 million Ukumehame seawall built, causing damage to the reef and its beaches, and eliminated access to the shoreline, while drivers continue to dodge the large waves that hit the seawall and crash over onto the highway.

A second seawall, also exempt from environmental monitoring due to the governor’s tsunami disaster declaration, is currently being built at Launiupoko, and a third is slated for Olowalu. The continued fortification of our coastline, combined with the potential 150 luxury, oceanfront homes within the hazardous flood zone of the Olowalu Town project, are slowly but surely destroying the potential legacy of the pali to Puamana parkway plan.

Unlike most other places (i.e., Kona) where the road being impacted by sea level rise cannot be moved due to extensive development mauka of the road, most of the Honoapiilani Highway under threat is void of mauka development.

Let’s stop pouring concrete onto the beaches of our future keiki and move the road mauka. Let’s make the pali-to-Puamana parkway a legacy that we can all enjoy for generations to come.

Mark Deakos