Large trucks carrying "superloads" of wind turbine components will be traveling from Kahului through South Maui to Ulupalakua beginning Tuesday, project developers Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and BP Wind Energy announced Thursday.
For six weeks, the trucks will be transporting 56 oversized loads to Ulupalakua between 5 and 10 p.m. Monday thorough Friday. The components will be assembled to build the Auwahi Wind 21-megawatt wind farm on Ulupalakua Ranch land.
To minimize traffic impacts, no more than three oversized loads will be transported on any given day, according to the announcement.
The route consists of a 27-mile stretch beginning at the staging site across Hana Highway from the Kahului Airport. From the staging site, the trucks will travel on Hana Highway, Dairy Road, Puunene Avenue, Mokulele Highway, Piilani Highway, Wailea Ike Drive, Wailea Alanui Drive, Makena Alanui Road, Papaka Road and the Upcountry portion of Piilani Highway, Sempra officials said.
Travel on Wailea Ike and Wailea Alanui drives and Makena Alanui Road will only occur between 7 and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Travel on the Upcountry Piilani Highway from Papaka Road to the Auwahi Wind site may occur in the evening or mornings after 7 a.m.
Temporary road closures lasting around 15 minutes will occur at the intersection of Wailea Ike and Wailea Alanui drives. There will be temporary traffic control there and near the Makena Beach & Golf Resort.
When the super loads reach the Upcountry Piilani Highway, there will be intermittent full road closures affecting both lanes between Mileposts 16 and 20. Closures are expected to last 30 minutes, although extended delays are possible due to unforeseen circumstances.
Each oversized load will be accompanied by escort vehicles with flashing lights to alert motorists. Electronic notification boards will be placed along the Upcountry Piilani Highway in advance of super loads.
Residents also can access updated transportation schedules and other project information at www.SempraUSGP.com/auwahi or call the Auwahi Wind project hotline at (888) 587-2919.
When completed, the wind farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power about 10,000 Maui homes and help Hawaii reach its goal of securing 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.