HNN: ‘$32M project aimed at easing gridlock for Waianae-bound commuters’

By Jim Mendoza; HawaiiNewsNow; 08/20/19
[Read the original article and watch the video at the HNN site: https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com]

Some relief is coming for drivers who get stuck in those afternoon bottlenecks heading into Waianae, but don’t expect it right away.

The state has $32 million to add 2.5 miles to the fifth lane it installed two years ago on Farrington Highway.

“We always talk about how Kahala gets this, and Hawaii Kai and Kailua gets all the attention, and no one cares about Waianae,” state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro said.

“This is finally proof that people do care about us.”

The present length is just 1.2 miles and runs from Nānākuli Avenue to Haleakala Avenue.

Most of the day the fifth lane is used as a turnout lane, but during the afternoon rush it’s used as a contraflow lane for westbound drivers.

Ken McNamara said it makes a huge difference in his trip home.

“I’ve been living out here for 14 years now and commute every day and work in Campbell. It actually has taken about 20 minutes off my drive home every night,” he said.

Shimabukuro said the fifth lane also saves time during the morning drive.

“In the morning, it’s gotten way better. When you’re trying to leave Waianae it takes maybe 20 minutes off your commute,” she said.

She expects even more time savings when the the state Department of Transportation extends the fifth lane another 2.5 miles that will take it all the way to Hakimo Road.

“It should make a lot of difference because the traffic we got in here is one way in and one way out,” leeward coast resident Reno Freuan said.

But the improvement won’t happen overnight.

HDOT hopes to put the lane extension project out to bid by the middle of 2021.

“We would love it as soon as possible. But I appreciate and know that DOT is working as fast they can to make this happen,” Shimabukuro said.

“What’s another year?” McNamara said.

Shimabukuro said meetings will begin in October for community feedback.

“It would not have been possible without the support of the executive branch – the governor, DOT and of course the House and Senate of the legislature,” she said.

Some of the money for the project will come from the state’s surcharge on rental cars.

HDOT will also lengthen the shared-use path on the makai side of the highway and finalize pavement reconstruction and pedestrian safety measures.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

**Message from Sen. Shimabukuro:

Mahalo nui loa for this strong coordinated effort between the Legislature’s Senate, House and Executive Branch to allocate $32m to improve Farrington Highway, where I had the pleasure of working closely with:

– Representative Stacelynn Eli

– Representative Cedric Gates

– Edwin Sniffen, DOT Deputy Director of Highways

– Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran

– Representative Kyle Yamashita

– Senator Donovan Dela Cruz

– Representative Sylvia Luke

– Both Senate & House Leadership

– Governor David Ige

** The length and scope of the 5th lane extension, and secondary access will be part of the Farrington Highway Corridor Study. For more information about the study, call 808-628-5861. Also, join the mailing list to be informed of meetings and updates regarding the Farrington Highway Corridor Study by clicking this link: https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/farringtoncorridorstudy/

** Link to previous studies regarding Wai`anae Coast secondary access, Kole Kole Pass, Farrington Highway widening, and other traffic concerns:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/21maile.com/2015/07/15/mauka-highway-kolekole-pass-studies/amp/

**Link to 08/20/19 news article:

https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2019/08/20/shorten-commute-state-lengthen-th-lane-farrington-highway-just-not-right-away/






HNN (3/27/19): West Oahu Traffic Accident Prompts Another Call for Bypass Road

HNN: Crash that trapped West Oahu residents triggers another call for bypass road
By Chelsea Davis | March 26, 2019 at 11:01 PM HST – Updated March 27 at 8:43 AM

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A car crash in Ko Olina Monday night that shut down all lanes of Farrington Highway in both directions has residents and lawmakers revisiting a push for alternate routes for the Waianae Coast.

There were no major injuries. However, traffic was at a standstill for more than an hour.

“It’s starting to become more of a topic because one little accident can basically shut down the entire coastline. That’s why we’re trying to push the idea of the bypass road,” said Waianae resident Marc Paaluhi.

The state senator for the area said she would like to see a bypass road from Lualualei Naval Road to Ko Olina.

“If we can get to Ko Olina, then from there we will have a true bypass road because Campbell Estate and DOT have partnered and they’re going to make a road that goes from Ko Olina to Kapolei,” said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro.

Shimabukuro said the legislature allocated $8 million for a bypass road, but the funding was only enough to go to Nanakuli Avenue and residents who live in the area didn’t want it.

“When the community heard these plans, understandably, there was a lot of concern because Nanakuli Avenue is one of the main arteries that goes through the Hawaiian Homestead in Nanakuli,” Shimabukuro said.

“When the reality set in that this is going to be a 24/7 road that would use the artery of Nanakuli Avenue and then connect from there to Lualualei Naval Road, the community just wasn’t quite ready for that.”

Paaluhi said roads coming down from the mountains would be a lot less invasive to the communities.

“Take a road mauka from the Kunia Plains up following the natural contour of the mountain range bringing down veins into the different communities,” said Paaluhi. “So it would be dedicated for the people who actually live out here rather than those that would just be coming to sight see or do business – they can stay on Farrington.”

Honolulu City Councilwoman for the coast said in her opinion, the solution isn’t just more roads, it is more jobs.

“I’ve seen a lot of government leaders promote spending a lot of money for traffic relief but really the most economical solution is to take advantage of the new economic opportunity zones the federal government has proposed,” said Kymberly Pine. “Create business economic centers within varies community that have difficulty times with their traffic congestion. That would tremendously help Waianae and encouraging residents from never even having to leave the coast.”

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
__________
Read the article and watch the news video at:
http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2019/03/27/some-west-oahu-residents-push-bypass-road-help-ease-traffic-troubles/

Harriet Bouslog Labor Scholarship Seeking UH Applicants – Deadline 4/1/19

Eligibility:

1. Attending or plan to attend a UH System School

2. Current members of ILWU Local 142 with good standing, or related to someone who is a current or retired ILWU Local 142 member

To confirm eligibility, check the current list of employers who are part of the union: http://ilwulocal142.org/blog/where-we-work/alphabetical/

To begin the application process go to https://scholarsapp.com/scholarship/harriet-bouslog-scholarship/

For more information, contact Traven Watase at (808)450-9988 or traven@scholarsapp.com

Interest-free Down Payment Loans for Low-income 1st-time Home Buyers – 1st Come 1st Served

Interest-free down payment loans available to low-income first-time home buyers
Star-Adv: By Gordon Y.K. Pang March 19, 2019 Updated March 19, 2019 3:55pm

Interest-free down payment loans are available through the city to qualifying first-time home purchasers who are in low- and moderate income brackets.

Awardees could save thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of their mortgages and get themselves on the path to financial security, city officials said in urging the eligible to apply.

The Department of Community Services is accepting applications from applicants’ mortgage lenders for loans of up to $40,000, Community Services Director Pamela Witty-Oakland said. The agency has about $400,000 available annually in federal HOME funds for the loan program.

In the last fiscal year, the department made 21 down payment loans.

Loans are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to qualified households, Witty-Oakland said.

Interested parties should apply through a mortgage lender after being approved for a first mortgage. Applying is free.

To qualify, an applicant need to provide 5 percent of the purchase price as a down payment and complete an approved home ownership course. A home inspection is also required.

Call the Department of Customer Services loan branch at 768-7076 for information.

Career Expo 2019 March 27 9AM-3PM Neal Blaisdell Center

Click image to go to the website.

HNN: Wildfires in West Oahu – Interview Sen. Shimabukuro 3/6/19

Excerpts from Police identify suspect arrested in connection with wildfires in West Oahu
By HNN Staff | March 6, 2019 at 4:27 PM HST – Updated March 7 at 10:52 AM

LEEWARD OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) – How the fire started is still under investigation, but just as the flames were spreading, police confronted a man about two miles down the road in Waianae.

A city bus full of passengers had just passed that Maili fire when they came upon the standoff.

Leeward Coast State Senator Maile Shimabukuro was inside that bus.

“I posted the pictures on Facebook and somebody commented, ‘The arsonist is at it again and started a fire by the sewer.’ So then the bus kept going and sure enough, we approached the sewer and then the next thing I know, people are again saying, ‘Look out the window!’ And I saw a small fire that looked like it had just been started,” she said.

Shimabukuro said the man was standing right next to that fire on the side of the highway.

“About 25 feet away, there’s a standoff going on between HPD pointing guns at this man who was holding a torch or some kind of weapon,” Shimabukuro said.

Sources said police eventually tased the man and took him into custody.

The dramatic afternoon has Senator Shimabukuro renewing her push for a million dollars in grant money to help fight West Oahu wildfires.

“Fires have been terrorizing our community my whole life,” she said. “Every summer, our mountains are on fire. I really hope that this million dollars that the community is requesting for the Waianae Kai Wildfire Preparedness Plan can be granted by the legislature.”

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

SA: ‘State senator films Maili brush fire, police standoff while riding bus’

911 REPORT| TOP NEWS
State senator films Maili brush fire, police standoff while riding bus
By Star-Advertiser staff March 6, 2019 Updated March 7, 2019 12:40am

A possible arson suspect was taken into police custody in connection with a brush fire that burned 20 acres in Maili this afternoon.

The man was arrested not only on suspicion of arson but a number of different charges, an officer at the Waianae police substation said tonight.

No other details were available, he said.

The fire, which appeared to have blackened much of Puu O Hulu, the towering coastal hill that is home to the Maili pillboxes, started at 3:14 p.m and was contained at 5:09 p.m., said Honolulu Fire Capt. Scot Seguirant.

He said 12 units and 31 firefighters, including the Honolulu Fire Department’s A-1 helicopter, battled the blaze near Kaukama Road and Farrington Highway.

State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro happened to be riding TheBus home from the state Capitol and took photos of the large brush fire as the bus slowly moved through congested traffic.

Photo by Sen. Maile Shimabukuro 3/6/19

Later, the bus came upon a roadside confrontation on Farrington Highway near Leihoku Street. Shimabukuro continued taking video footage, which showed a police officer was pointing a gun at a man, who was holding an object by his side that looked like a 2-foot-long stick or cylinder, and yelling.

Some 25 feet away from the standoff was a smaller fire that appeared to have been recently started near the highway’s shoulder, she said.

Photo by Sen. Maile Shimabukuro 3/6/19

Officials did not confirm whether the confrontation caught on video by Shimabukuro was related to the fires.