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Got a question about Mamalahoa Highway Bypass?


The county has issued a list of frequently asked questions about the Mamalahoa Highway Bypass. The release is dated Jan. 14.

The County of Hawaii and Oceanside 1250, the developers of Hokulia, are targeting the first quarter of 2009 to open the northern section of the Mamalahoa Bypass to the public on a trial basis.

What is the grant of easement to use the Bypass?
Oceanside 1250 will grant the County of Hawaii use of the road for southeast travel for three hours from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday to Friday excluding holidays. This allows the county use of the road, while the dedication is in the process. A resolution authorizing and accepting the grant of easement was submitted by the administration and appears Friday, Jan. 23 before the Hawaii County Council.

What is the agreement between Oceanside 1250 and the County regarding dedication of the highway?
The development agreement executed between Oceanside 1250, developers of Hokulia and the county says the bypass highway shall be dedicated to the county in phases, as it is completed, and that the county shall accept the dedication within 60 days if it conforms to the approved plans as approved by the county.

What about shoreline access, bike, and pedestrian use during the three hours the public has use of the bypass?
Bikes, scooters, mopeds, vehicles weighing over three (3) tons and pedestrian use will not be allowed on the bypass during this trial period. Shoreline access regardless of the 3:30-6:30 p.m. timeframe is permitted. Visitors should report to the Oceanside security personnel onsite.

During the trial, how will the county determine the success of this operation at 60 days and at 180 days; and what methods will be used to determine this success?
The ordinance passed by the County Council states the county must report to them 60 days after opening the bypass and again at 180 days to determine if this trial is a success or not. A Web site will be set up on the county site with a questionnaire for those interested in giving the county feed back as to how they determine the success of the bypass.

Is there a name for the bypass highway?
At this time, there is no name for this section of the road that begins at the end of Keauhou and eventually will terminate at the Napoopoo Junction in Captain Cook. The road will be named when it is dedicated in its entirety to the county.

Will we designate the bypass a Kona Scenic corridor?
It is premature to designate the bypass a scenic corridor, because no part of the bypass is a public highway until it is dedicated.

Will opening the northern portion of the Bypass release Oceanside from its obligation to complete the southern portion?
Oceanside is obligated to complete the Bypass, from the end of Alii Drive to the junction at Napoopoo Road. The use of Halekii will not jeopardize the completion of the Bypass. Barricades at Honalo Junction were removed last year

Will the county remove the barricades at Honalo Junction once the bypass is open to the public?
Barricades at Honalo Junction were removed last year.

Will the section from the bypass to Halekii Street remain open?
Yes, with restrictions. Halekii Street will be open only during the same period as the bypass and only to southbound travel. The gate on Halekii Street will close at 6:30 p.m., and motorists will not be allowed to enter after that time. County personnel and an off-duty officer will also be positioned at the junction of the bypass highway and Halekii to stop traffic after 6:30 p.m. Portable traffic signals will be installed at this junction to direct traffic.

What are the posted speed limits?
* 45 mph on the northern section of the bypass
* 25 mph between Kamehameha III Road and the entrance to the bypass and in the Kona Scenic subdivision
* 20 mph between Honalo and through Kainaliu

How will traffic flow be affected by opening the northern portion of the bypass?
The county anticipates 33 percent of the current traffic flowing through Kainaliu Town between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. will divert to Halekii for the first several months. Once motorists experience the good and bad points of using Halekii Street as an alternate route, it is anticipated that some will revert to using Mamalahoa Highway through Kainaliu and the traffic on Halekii Street will level off.

Safety Improvements to be completed prior to opening the bypass include:
• A traffic signal at Kaleiopapa and Alii drive
• Activate the pedestrian signal on Halekii
• Mark the pedestrian path on the mauka side of Alii drive between Kamehameha III and Kaleiopapa and center lanes
• Road markings on Halekii
• Set up portable traffic signs at the intersection of the bypass and the Halekii extension.

How will you let the public know when the bypass is open?
• Message boards will be positioned to alert drivers of the bypass hours
• Radio ads will inform motorists of the hours of the bypass
• Public Works will be working within the Keauhou, Kailua-Kona and Kohala Coast resort communities to inform their employees and guests through printed or electronic newsletters about the Bypass schedule.
• Brochures will be available at the guard gates with details of use of the bypass

What is the Mamalahoa Bypass?
The Mamalahoa Bypass is a two-lane roadway in South Kona to give motorists an alternate route between North Kona and South Kona. It runs North-South and is located midway between the shoreline and Mamalahoa Highway.

Why was it built?
This roadway was envisioned by the state since 1979 in anticipation of a growing population. Currently, a large portion of the South Kona community works in either North Kona or South Kohala and commute daily along Mamalahoa Highway.

Where is the bypass?
The bypass starts at the end of Alii drive in Keauhou and will run approximately 5.4 miles to the Napoopoo Junction in South Kona.

What is the northern portion of the bypass?
The northern portion of the Mamalahoa Bypass starts at the end of Keauhou and runs approximately three miles to the bottom of Halekii Street in Kealakekua’s Kona Scenic subdivision. Opening the northern portion of the bypass will release Oceanside from its obligation to complete the southern portion. Oceanside is obligated to complete the bypass, from the end of Alii Drive to the junction at Napoopoo Road. The use of Halekii will not jeopardize the completion of the bypass.

— For map images:

Mamalahoa Bypass:

Alii Drive Safety Improvements:

2 Responses to “Got a question about Mamalahoa Highway Bypass?”

  1. Duane C. Hess says:

    There has been much news about the Hokulia Bypass, and the lawsuit involving the Coupe Family. It would be interesting to me to know just what property parcel is involved. I’d like to see it on a map, and be able to see just how much of the parcel is needed to complete the Bypass. Thank you very much. Duane C. Hess, E-mail address is above. My phone number is: 808-327-1617

  2. Duane C. Hess says:

    I did write a comment, and did submit it. I hope it went through. I would like to know the parcel number of the Coupe property that is in contention to complete the Hokulia Bypass. I’m interested in seeing just where the property is located, and how much of the property is needed for completion of the project.
    Thank you, Duane C. Hess. Phone: 808-327-1617


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