Ask The Mayor

Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: Would you please address the closing of the Kulanihakoi Street exit off Piilani Highway since March? I believe the completion date was originally slated for April.

A: Unfortunately, the contractor for this state Department of Education project has encountered multiple issues for the direction drilling installation of underground utilities for the new Kihei high school.

The work was originally expected to be completed by April 30 but was pushed to the end of May due to construction issues. State officials told my staff that it is taking longer than expected to complete the drilling, pulling of utility lines and testing.

They are now looking at underground utility work to be completed in mid-August, but hope drilling work to finish sooner. This has been a difficult project for everyone, and we remain in communication with the contractor and the state Department of Transportation.

Meanwhile, our county Department of Public Works is working on its own project to reconstruct and rehabilitate Kulanihakoi Street, which has been put on hold until the utilities work is completed. The county’s work includes removing existing pavement to subgrade and replacing with new asphalt concrete pavement, hot mix asphalt concrete base course, aggregate base and a reinforced geogrid.

The rehabilitation roadwork calls for cold planing 2.5 inches of the existing pavement and overlaying with 2.5 inches of new asphalt concrete pavement. Work also consists of replacing concrete sidewalks, curbs, gutters, curb ramps and utility collars; installation of new pavement striping, markers and signs; existing drain lines that will be cured-in-place; and other incidental items.

The county has already completed similar reconstruction and rehabilitation work on East Waipuilani Road, East Lipoa Street and East Welakahao Road.

Q: I applaud Maui police for their recent campaign on increased attention to seat belts and distracted driving. One question: How can police officers confirm seat belts are being worn and hands are free of cellphones in a car with tinted windows?

A: Mahalo for your question and I greatly appreciate your compliments to our Maui Police Department. These men and women work very hard to protect our community and the sole purpose of these enforcement campaigns is to prevent traffic fatalities.

To answer your question, if the vehicle has legally tinted windows, police officers would be able see inside the vehicle. However, if the tinted windows are too dark to see inside the vehicle, the driver would be pulled over and fined $287 for the violation, as opposed to the $102 seat belt ticket.

I’d like to highlight the efforts of our Police Department’s Traffic Division, which issued 142 seat belt violations, seven child seat violations, 23 cellphone violations, four pickup bed violations and 47 moving/other violations, during the nationwide “Click it or Ticket” campaign from May 13 to June 2. Officers also made one arrest for an outstanding warrant, one arrest for driving with a revoked license and one arrest for operating a vehicle under the influence of liquor.

Finally, I want to remind our residents and visitors that our goal is, and will always be, zero traffic fatalities every year. Nine people have already died in traffic crashes on Maui County roads this year, and my heart goes out to each of the families.

Please remember to put your phone down, buckle up your seat belt and drive safely.

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at askthemayor@mauicounty.gov, 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 mayors.office@mauicounty.gov.