New highway would cost $3.3 billion
By Mike Leidemann
Advertiser Staff Writer
Building a new elevated highway from Kapolei to Honolulu would cost an estimated $3.3 billion, according to preliminary estimates from the state Transportation Department.
A 40-foot-high, two-lane reversible highway could be constructed above or alongside Farrington, Kamehameha and Nimitz Highways and extend for about 16 miles, DOT planners told a state House Committee last week.
However, it would present a number of significant challenges beyond its expense, roughly equal to the state's entire highway budget for the next 10 years.
Construction would involve significant environmental, visual and noise impacts and other problems for homes, apartments, businesses, schools and churches, said Ron Tsuzuki, head of the Department's Planning Branch.
It also would require expensive overpasses to be built in several areas along the H-1 Freeway, including the Waiawa, Halawa and Pearl Harbor interchanges and the Pearl City and airport viaducts, he said.
DOT spokesman Scott Ishikawa said the preliminary study was done only to give a governor's task force studying alternative transportation enough information to evaluate all choices fairly.
The task force also is considering a number of other alternatives, including light rail and dedicated bus lanes. Task force members say all options remain on the table, but hope to have specific recommendations ready to present to the state Legislature in January.