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NELHA road plans move forward

April 8, 2014 - 11:42am

Road improvements to maintain and improve connection between the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority’s Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park and regional transportation facilities has moved another step closer to fruition.

A draft environmental assessment was released Tuesday with officials expecting a determination of the project having no significant impact if it proceeds.

The proposed project would likely be completed in two phases, according to planner Parsons Brinkerhoff. No cost estimate was given for either of the phases.

The first phase, which would be implemented over the next decade, includes constructing a nearly 1-mile frontage road north of Makaeo Bay Drive; extending Kaiminani Drive and creating a four-way signalized intersection at Queen Kaahumanu Highway; and connecting planned arterial roadways to Kona International Airport.

The second phase, which the planner said would likely not begin until about 2035 when the airport, NELHA and other developments in the area are nearing full build-out, would include connecting NELHA’s frontage road with the airport’s planned frontage road and eventually signalizing Makaeo Bay Drive at Queen Kaahumanu Highway.

The draft EA is available online at the Office of Environmental Quality Control’s website by clicking here.

The public has 30 days to comment on the draft environmental assessment. Comments should be sent to the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority at 73-4460 Queen Kaahumanu Highway, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 with copies to the Office of Environmental Quality Control at 235 South Beretania St., Suite 702, Honolulu, HI 96813 and Jim Hayes, Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. at 1001 Bishop St., Suite 2400, Honolulu, HI 96813.