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Project Information + Documents

About the Project

The project limits extend approximately 6 miles from the sandy beach strands of Pāpalaua Beach Park near Manawaipueo Gulch, continues through Ukumehame and Olowalu to the easternmost point of Lahaina Bypass Road in Launiupoko. 

Several recent reports prepared by the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) document the natural hazards to which its facilities are exposed statewide: Hawaiʻi Highways Climate Adaptation Action Plan (2021)Statewide Coastal Highway Program Report (2019)and the Hawaiʻi Statewide Transportation Asset Management Plan (2019).  These reports describe how vulnerable Hawaiʻi’s coastal belt roads are to seasonal ocean swells along with storm surges that cause shoreline erosion and damage. Honoapiʻilani Highway is no exception. 

Segments of Honoapiʻilani Highway, particularly in the southern portion of West Maui (Ukumehame, Olowalu, and Launiopoko) are affected by multiple natural hazards including coastal erosion, annual high wave flooding, storm surge, and wildfires. In the Statewide Coastal Highway Program Report, the Olowalu segment and the Ukumehame segment of Honoapiʻilani ranked Number 2 and Number 12, on HDOT’s list of priority projects to address coastal erosion.

Service disruptions and suboptimal conditions such as high wave wash are regular occurrences on this low-lying highway.  As the primary access to West Maui, when these road closures occur, they have significant impacts on the quality of life for West Maui residents, and the West Maui economy. 

Build Alternatives

Alternatives Being Considered

1

ALTERNATIVE 1 (Red Alignment):
Adapted from the County of Maui’s Pali to Puamana Parkway 2005 coastal or makai concept.

A key element of this alternative is to maximize use of the existing Honoapiʻilani Highway right-of-way, particularly through Launiupoko and a portion of Olowalu.


Sea Level Rise Inundation Encroachment Area

  • will avoid approximately 84%
  • remain inside roughly 0.6 miles (3,330 ft)
2

ALTERNATIVE 2 (Yellow Alignment):
Adapted from the County of Maui’s Pali to Puamana Parkway 2005 “middle” concept.


Sea Level Rise Inundation Encroachment Area

  • will avoid approximately 71%
  • remain inside roughly 1.1 miles (6,000 ft)
3

ALTERNATIVE 3 (Green Alignment):
Adapted from the County of Maui’s Pali to Puamana Parkway 2005 “mauka” concept.

It is identical to Alternative 2, except in Olowalu where the alignment is further inland or mauka.


Sea Level Rise Inundation Encroachment Area

  • will avoid approximately 71%
  • remain inside roughly 1.1 miles (6,000 ft)
4

ALTERNATIVE 4 (Purple Alignment):
Also adapted from the County of Maui’s Pali to Puamana Parkway 2005 “mauka” concept.

The alignment for Alternative 4 was selected to realign the highway as much as possible away from the Sea Level Rise Inundation Encroachment Area, without as much consideration for property ownership as other Alternatives.


Sea Level Rise Inundation Encroachment Area

  • will avoid approximately 92%
  • remain inside roughly 0.3 miles (1,300 ft)

NO-BUILD (Existing Highway):
Reflects future conditions if the proposed project were not constructed.

Nature-based solutions, revetments and seawalls, or a combination of those protections combined with elevating the road are short- to mid-term fixes. They would be included due to the current state of the road and chronic impacts from coastal hazards.

History

For more than two decades, HDOT has been committed to addressing the issues affecting the Honoapiʻilani Highway. In the 2000’s, with federal funding, HDOT attempted to realign and widen a longer, 11-mile segment of the Highway. The project explored alternatives for increasing roadway capacity, safety, and reliability. The proposed project between Maalaea on the southern end of West Maui and Launiupoko also sought to address the eroding shoreline as a secondary objective to capacity and congestion. On June 7, 2007, the FHWA published a Notice of Intent (NOI) in the Federal Register to prepare an EIS. However, an EIS was never completed due to limited funding.

While high costs and funding for long-term solutions placed them temporarily out of reach, HDOT continued to address the roadway’s reliability through short-term improvements.  In 2011, HDOT constructed a seawall at Ukumehame during an emergency event, to keep the roadway from being washed away. 

To secure other segments of Honoapiʻilani Highway, HDOT attempted to add additional revetments and seawalls along the Olowalu coastline in 2016.  However, due to concerns from the Olowalu community regarding the impacts of seawalls on beaches and the aquatic environment, HDOT opted instead to implement the temporary solution of restriping and shifting traffic lanes inland within the existing right-of-way. 

Other plans recognize the need for long-term resiliency improvements include the 2005 Maui County Pali to Puamana Parkway Master Plan  as well as the recent West Maui Community Plan (Draft, December 2020), which is currently under review by the Maui County Council. In addition to realignment, the County proposes to use the land makai of the realigned road between Pāpalaua Park and Puamana Park “as open space and park to buffer against the effects of sea level rise and climate change while providing recreational opportunities.” 

Submit a Comment

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To request language interpretation, an auxiliary aid, or special services (e.g. sign language interpreter, materials in alternate format), please contact Ms. Genevieve Sullivan: Genevieve.h.sullivan@hawaii.gov.
Please submit requests one week in advance of the meeting or event.

Timeline

  • 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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