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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Governor releases $8.1M for major Kapolei artery

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer

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Construction of the $80 million North-South Road, a major piece in the long-term development of East Kapolei, is expected to start in mid-2007 and be completed within 24 months.

Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday released $8.1 million, the state's portion of the project, which is 80 percent funded by the federal government. North-South Road will extend mauka from Kapolei Parkway to the H-1 Freeway and includes a complete interchange.

The road provides another much-needed access to H-1 eastbound, particularly for 'Ewa and 'Ewa Beach motorists currently using Roosevelt Avenue to access Fort Barrette Road in Kapolei to get on the freeway. Many motorists take the Fort Barrette Road route as an alternative to the very busy Fort Weaver Road out of 'Ewa.

But it will also serve as the main road for Department of Hawaiian Home Lands residential and commercial developments, the University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu campus and the Salvation Army's Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center.

DHHL spokesman Lloyd Yonenaka said the North-South Road "means everything to the whole region." The road will be a benefit for residents of a planned DHHL development, the East Kapolei I subdivision, in which 350 leases will be awarded, said Yonenaka.

City Councilman Todd Apo called the North-South Road "a huge piece for the planned development" of Kapolei. The number of planned roadway projects in the region, he added, is an indication that "government is catching up with putting in the infastructure to keep up with growth."

State transportation director Rod Haraga said the design contract for the North-South Road project will be advertised at the end of this year. Haraga noted the road will be designed for six lanes three in each direction but that the state plans to build only three lanes and stripe them for use as four lanes. The road will be widened later when more funding is available, Haraga added.

North-South Road is among several planned state, city and private projects announced recently that are being fast-tracked to provide relief to traffic problems in the fast-growing "second city" area.

Several projects, such as North-South Road, will be constructed simultaneously on undeveloped land and should not disrupt traffic, according to officials.

The current individual pieces which will come together to form the big picture between 2008 and 2010 include:

  • DHHL's extension of Kapolei Parkway, which currently ends near Kapolei Middle School, to the North-South Road. The city will then extend the parkway on the east side of North-South Road to Renton Road in 'Ewa.

    Kapolei Property Development, meanwhile, announced in July that it is moving up by two years a $15 million project to extend Kapolei Parkway west by a mile between Fort Barrette Road and Kamokila Boulevard to provide another east-west route to Kapolei. Completion date is late 2008.

  • In late September, the state and Kapolei Property Development announced plans to build the first phase of the Kapolei Interchange Complex, which will include an H-1 eastbound freeway on-ramp in downtown Kapolei at Kamokila Boulevard and Wakea Street, a westbound on-ramp from the Makakilo Interchange, and a westbound off-ramp near Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park.

  • The city has completed an environmental impact study for a 300-foot extension of Kamokila Boulevard to Roosevelt Avenue. Kapolei Property Development spent $2 million to build the first 625 feet of the 925-foot extension, which will give motorists quicker access to 'Ewa Beach via Roosevelt Avenue. The city expects to start construction in mid-2007 with a late-2008 completion date.

  • On Aug. 14, KPD opened the Manawai Street-Kama'aha Avenue extension, which has helped ease congestion in Kapolei.

  • The state is also planning to widen Fort Weaver Road to six lanes from A'awa Drive to Geiger Road.

    Reach Rod Ohira at rohira@honoluluadvertiser.com.