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Frequently Asked Questions

What routes are being considered to improve the highway? How will land use and private property be affected?

Within the Project Area four different build alternatives are being considered as well as a “no-build” option of no realignment. The alternatives are screened against the main objective to reduce the highway’s exposure to the SLR-XA and ocean hazards, which would mean moving the highway mauka or elevating the highway. Considerations for selecting viable alternatives include feasibility, constructability, consistency with community plans, minimizing impacts to historic and cultural sites, minimizing adverse environmental impacts, and financial viability. The EIS will evaluate these alternatives to determine a preferred option which achieves project goals and minimizes adverse effects. During scoping, HDOT and FHWA are looking for your input on these alternatives and on the scope of the EIS studies.

How are long-term ecological impacts of this coastal highway considered and addressed in the project?

Impacts to environmental and cultural resources will be evaluated while determining a preferred alternative for the highway. New alignments would be designed to minimize ecological impacts by managing stormwater runoff and avoidance of critical environmental features.  We are in early conversations with the Nature Conservancy, the County, and other agencies that manage coastal resources, and with interested and knowledgeable groups and individuals about ways to mitigate potential impacts to coastal resources.

How will alternative modes of transportation be accommodated by the project?

We are at the beginning stages of the planning process and are working with the County and MauiMPO on multimodal considerations (including opportunities along the old highway as noted below).  Safety and accessibility for all users will be a priority in developing the alternatives. HDOT is dedicated to providing a safe, efficient, accessible, and sustainable inter-modal transportation system that ensures the mobility of people and goods and enhances and/or preserves economic stability.

What will happen to the old highway? Will it be dismantled, or could it be repurposed to a Bike/ ped path? Who will manage?

If the roadway is realigned, HDOT would seek to transfer the old road to the County, who would then decide how the roadway would support County planning policies and plans. Road access would be provided for existing homes and businesses.

Will the project protect the 8 miles of beach access as well as provide any access improvements with highway funding?

If the preferred alternative is a realignment of the Honoapiilani Highway, HDOT would work with Maui County to continue to provide beach access. Overall, HDOT is dedicated to public safety and improving quality of life for the communities of Hawaii and public access to beaches is an important consideration.

What can the $22 Million in grant money be used for?

The $22 million RAISE grant is specifically for a transportation project that addresses resiliency in this area and would be part of the overall funding used to implement the proposed Project. The RAISE grant money can be used for a variety of specific project construction elements that ensure the resiliency of the transportation network.

What can be done about the sea wall?

Infrastructure repairs have been necessary to maintain the vital highway link to West Maui. If Honoapʿiilani Highway is realigned away from the shoreline, the conversion of the existing roadway to a local access route controlled by the County means the ability to remove or modify hard features such as the sea wall can be considered and implemented by the County.

What process will be followed to fully incorporate cultural concerns?

Federal (Section 106) and State (HRS 6E) law require that HDOT consider potential project impacts on cultural resources. We will follow Section 106 procedures should there be adverse impacts to cultural resources.  We will follow 6E to complete archaeological and architectural studies of the resources in the area. We rely on local experts to identify cultural and historic concerns that should be addressed in these studies. The earlier we know who to talk to and have those conversations, the better we can avoid, minimize, and mitigate impacts to resources. If you have knowledge of cultural resources in the area, please contact Genevieve Sullivan – HDOT project manager.

How are the changing environmental conditions affecting the design of the project?

This project is being designed to address changing environmental conditions. It is widely known that Honoapiʿilani Highway is often affected by high waves, erosion, and other coastal events. The project aims to improve the reliability of the highway and minimize the risk of these flood events that are exacerbated by climate change and sea level rise.

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  • January 2023
    • Launch of environmental assessment process, which includes NOI and EISPN. 
    • 2023 - 2024: Environmental Planning Process
  • 2023
    • Draft Environmental Impact Statement Published
    • Public Hearing (December 2023)
    • 45-day Public Comment Process
  • 2024
    • Final Environmental Impact Statement Published
    • Preconstruction
  • 2025
    • Construction Begins
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