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Ask The Mayor

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

Q: I heard there was going to be construction early this year on South Kihei Road and wanted to know when it was going to start and exactly where it will take place. Can you confirm if this project is actually going to happen? Mahalo.

A: Mahalo for your question and I can confirm that significant improvements are planned for a section of South Kihei Road. The road closure schedule has not yet been finalized pending coordination with the state Department of Transportation, but work is anticipated to begin in the spring.

The section is approximately 1,500 feet in length fronting the Maui Bay Villas site and is expected to be closed to through traffic for about 12 weeks. Both sides of South Kihei Road adjacent to the closed section will remain open to local traffic. The developer is coordinating the timing of the South Kihei Road improvements with the state’s traffic signal project on Piilani Highway to help facilitate traffic flow in the area during roadway construction activity.

The South Kihei Road improvements were reviewed and approved in accordance with its Special Management Area and Work On County Highway permit requirements.

The improvements include new curbs, crosswalks with flashing safety lights, bike lanes and sidewalks to support pedestrian safety. Other improvements include new gutters and underground drainage system, as well as a landscaped median along a portion of South Kihei Road to create greater separation between opposing lanes of traffic.

The project’s team is working with the county on the timing and logistics of the road closure, and plans to provide more information on closure dates, detours and other details once a start date is confirmed. My staff and our Public Works Department will continue to monitor this project to improve South Kihei Road for our local residents. For more information on the project, visit www.hgvmauibayvillas.com.

Q: Mr. Mayor, I have some unused, expired medications, and I recall that there’s some kind of program for people to safely turn in unused drugs, instead of flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash. Is there such a program, and, if so, when is the next collection event?

A: Thank you for your question. I asked my staff to check, and they found that the Maui Police Department has a “National Take Back Day” program in partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The next “Take Back” day is April 25. More information on the time and location of that event is expected later.

There also are Hawaii Medication Drop Box Program locations available year-round for medication disposal. In Maui County, there are drop box locations at six Maui Police Department stations. Those are in Wailuku, Kihei, Lahaina, Hana, Molokai and Lanai. Boxes also are at CVS pharmacies in Kahului, Kihei and Lahaina.

The proper disposal of unused medications can prevent them from getting in to the wrong hands and prevent negative and toxic effects on our environment. Seventy-five percent of opioid misuse started with people using medication that wasn’t prescribed for them, usually from a friend or family member.

I want to thank you for doing your part to protect our community and I strongly urge all our residents to participate in “Take Back” day or drop by your local police station to dispose of your unused medication. For more information about the Hawai’i Medication Drop Box Program, visit health.hawaii.gov/substance-abuse/.

* 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.

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