8/3/23   #kihei    This morning’s Maui News:   https://www.mauinews.com/news/local-news/2023/08/1st-phase-of-liloa-extension-could-be-ready-in-2027/

1st phase of Liloa extension could be ready in 2027

County recently received $25M in federal funding for project

Maui County officials anticipate that by 2027, the first phase of a north segment of the long-awaited Liloa Drive extension — which aims to provide an alternative to busy Piilani Highway and South Kihei Road — will be operational in Kihei.

Thanks to a recently awarded $25 million federal grant that will pay for much of the first phase of the project, Liloa Drive will be extended from the area of East Waipuilani Road to the area of Kulanihakoi Street in Kihei, making up about half of the nearly mile-long extension. County officials are expecting construction to begin in federal fiscal year 2025. Plans are to have the extension go farther north to Kaonoulu Street.


The new segment of the extension — also known as the North-South Collector Road — can’t come soon enough for some Kihei residents.

Kihei Community Association President Mike Moran told a Maui County Council committee Monday that he and other residents had hoped this first phase could have come before the opening of another long-awaited project, the new Kulanihako’i High School in Kihei, which will open on Monday.

The high school is mauka of Piilani Highway near the Kulanihakoi Road intersection.

Nevertheless, Moran called the plans and timelines for the Liloa Drive extension “a welcome sight,” noting that KCA has been involved with the extension project since the 1980s.

Moran said residents have lobbied for years for an alternative route in Kihei that would accommodate various modes of transportation, including walking and biking, along with landscaping.

Portions of the extension have been done throughout the years, but the project hasn’t been fully completed.

Design and permitting began in 2016 for the extension, which was included in the South Maui Community Plan adopted in 1998.

Nolly Yagin, an engineer with the county Department of Public Works, told the council’s Water and Infrastructure Committee that an environmental assessment should be completed later this year and a federal environmental review should be completed by the first quarter of 2024.

A special management area permit will also be sought in the first quarter of 2024, Yagin added during a presentation to the committee on Monday.

Currently the construction cost for Phase 1 ranges from $35 million to $40 million, according to Public Works.

Public Works Director Jordan Molina said that the county will pick up the remainder of the costs for Phase 1 that are not covered by the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity discretionary grant program, or RAISE.

Molina said the $25 million federal grant is just for Phase 1 of the project and that other funding must be sought for future phases of the extension.

Yagin said the department is also reaching out to residents affected by the project.

He added that the project will bring some traffic relief to the area and offer residents another route to get to places in South Maui.

Proposed improvements also include sidewalks, curbs and gutters, a shared use path for bicyclists and pedestrians, street lights, retaining walks, fencing, railings and landscaping, overhead and underground utility work, underground storm drain system, roundabouts at major intersections and bridges at Kulanihakoi Gulch and Waipuilani Gulch.

* Staff Writer Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.

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