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Wailuku upgrade project gets its start date

Construction to begin in January, will pave way for civic complex

After some delay, the large-scale Wailuku Town infrastructure upgrade project is slated to begin in January with initial work on Church and Vineyard streets.

The $10.5 million construction project, slated as Phase 1A, had originally been scheduled to start in September, but got delayed as it awaited state Historic Preservation Division review and approval, according to a county news release.

The work is also being pushed back till after the holidays, as Mayor Michael Victorino didn’t want the work to impact merchants, he said in the release.

The county is also in the process of awarding a contract for the accompanying Phase 1B of the project, which is the four-level parking structure that will replace the existing municipal parking lot partially bordered by Vineyard and Church streets.

The parking structure survived a challenge in September by some Maui County Council members who wanted to trim the structure in half due to concerns over costs, aesthetics and size.

Maui County spokesman Chris Sugidono said Monday that background work to prepare the award for the structure is ongoing, with the project expected to be awarded to a contractor before the end of this month.

He confirmed the civic complex is not part of Phase 1B.

Bond funding would still need to be authorized for the complex, which has drawn the most concern from critics who have said that the multistory building would be too large, out of place and too expensive.

The civic complex would be constructed next to the parking structure, with plans including county office space, room for special events and retail space.

For the parking structure, Hawaiian Dredging submitted the low bid of just under $28.2 million, according to the county news release. The 428-stall parking structure will double the amount of parking currently available in the lot.

The work on the structure and improvements are anticipated to begin in September 2020, although preparation work will begin in the summer, Sugidono said.

Phase 1A infrastructure work will begin on Church Street from Main to Vineyard streets. It will take approximately five to six months to complete. The municipal lot will remain open.

Construction on Lower Vineyard Street from Market to Church streets will begin after, targeted for June 2020, followed by work on Upper Vineyard Street from Church to High streets in November 2020. Work on each street will take about six months to complete.

Parking will be available at Wells Park and portions of the municipal lot during the infrastructure work.

Sugidono said that collectively, Phase 1A will take a little over a year to complete and will overlap some with Phase 1B’s construction period.

During construction on and along the streets, all existing parking on the roadway will need to be removed.

There will be controlled one-lane access at all times, although the county is urging motorists to use alternate routes through the area if possible.

Phase 1A work involves upgraded water and sewer lines; a new storm drain system; overhead power and telecom lines that will be placed underground; new sidewalks on both sides of Church and Lower Vineyard streets; new sidewalks on the Waikapu side of Upper Vineyard Street; Church Street changed from one-way street to two-way; traffic signal added at the intersection of Main and Church streets; street trees planted and new road surface installed.

The contractor for Phase 1A is Mira Image Construction LLC.

For updates on Wailuku Town’s improvement projects, see www.WailukuLive.com.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.