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Stene: State legislators tepid response to HDOT project deferment

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By Aaron Stene | Special to Hawaii 24/7

I’m very disappointed with our Big Island state legislators. They haven’t responded to any of my emails, which expressed concern about the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s (HDOT) decision to defer all new state highway projects. State Senator Josh Green was the only legislator that truly acknowledged my concerns about the HDOT’s shortsighted decision.

There is several proposed highway projects in both east and west Hawaii that are affected by this deferment, such as the widening of Highway 130 in Puna, and the Saddle Road Extension in South Kohala. However, there hasn’t been much public push back as far as I’ve seen, especially from our island’s state legislators.

I strongly believe they should take a stronger stance against the Department of Transportation in this matter. If HDOT continues to allocate 90% of their budgetary resources towards system preservation, this will result in less construction jobs, and more traffic congestion on our island’s highways over the long term.

These profound negative impacts will stifle economic growth on the Big Island. This should concern our state legislators, as I strongly believe we should continue to invest in our island’s our transportation infrastructure.

Aaron Stene

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