Friday, June 15, 2012

Saddle Road Connector Road Planned

The Saddle Road alignment will bring the new terminus about 6 miles south of the current Waikoloa Junction on the Mamalahoa Highway.  The Connector road will continue the Saddle Road from the Mamalahoa Highway to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway.  There are three proposed routes Green, Purple and Red all ending at a new site south of the current Waikoloa Junction. 
Construction on the Saddle Road extension would extend the cross-island link from its current terminus on Mamalahoa Highway to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway with construction beginning as soon as 2017 based on an proposed environmental impact statement notice.  The connector is the last phase of a major overhaul of the Saddle Road that began in the mid-1990s.

The current Saddle Road realignment will move the junction about six miles closer to Kailua-Kona to Mile Marker 14 south of Wailoloa Road.  This is part of a major realignment project that will provide a much shorter, faster and safer route between East and West Hawaii.  Kirkland Construction was awarded a $33.7 million contract and will have until June 2013 to complete the 9.6 miles of earthwork  Construction on the realignment began late last year.

Once completed, this project will have a profound impact on the communities and economy of the Big Island.  Excursions that would have taken the better half of a day will now be completed in a little over and hour which is normal under Big Island standards.
-Rep Mark Nakashima

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