The Hawai’i State Department of Transportation (HDOT), Highways Division has completed the re-evaluation of the 1990 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Kahekili Widening and Interchange.
The Re-Evaluation Report on the Kahekili Highway Improvements FEIS is available for download using the link to the right.
In 1990, proposed improvements to Kahekili Highway were documented in a FEIS, and a Record of Decision was issued by the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA). The FEIS identified a preferred alternative for improvements to Kahekili Highway from Likelike Highway to the intersection with Kamehameha Highway. Construction improvements to a portion of the highway from Ha’ikū Road to Likelike Highway were completed in 1995, however twenty years have now elapsed since the first phase of improvements were constructed.
According to Federal regulation, a re-evaluation of the acceptability of a FEIS is required if more than three years have passed since the last major FHWA approval action. The purpose of the current project is to re-evaluate the 1990 Kahekili Highway FEIS to determine if a supplemental EIS or other NEPA/HRS Chapter 343 documentation would be needed to assess the environmental impact of constructing the remaining highway improvements identified in the FEIS preferred alternative.
The FEIS re-evaluation study considered changes since 1990 to:
- Project design;
- Physical, natural, and social environment, and;
- Legislative and regulatory requirements.
An integral part of the FEIS re-evaluation involved extensive outreach to the communities that would be affected by improvements to Kahekili Highway. Public outreach for the project included:
- Community meeting;
- Two community charrettes;
- Stakeholder interviews, and;
- Public opinion survey.
Residents, schools, businesses, non-profits, and other organizations were consulted for their input to help shape a future Kahekili Highway Improvement Project. Public-opinion surveys were mailed to 4,750 residences from Likelike Highway to Kahana Bay, and from Kamehameha Highway to the Koolau.
The FEIS re-evaluation was completed in 2013, and based on the findings it was determined that the 1990 FEIS is no longer valid for evaluating the environmental impact of constructing the remaining highway improvements as identified in the FEIS preferred alternative. Therefore, HDOT is moving forward with preparation of new environmental documentation for Kahekili Highway improvement alternatives under two separate tasks:
- Task 1: Environmental documentation for improvements to Kahekili Highway from Ha‘ikū Road to the intersection with Kamehameha Highway, and;
- Task 2: Environmental documentation for Kahekili Highway improvements at the Likelike Highway Intersection.
HDOT’s priority for 2015 is focused on completing Task 1, with Task 2 to begin in 2016.
Community Involvement – 2015 and Beyond
HDOT’s discussion and involvement with the community during the FEIS re-evaluation resulted in additional concepts proposed to relieve congestion and delay and/or improve operations and safety. These proposed concepts will be considered in the upcoming environmental documentation, and include:
- Widening all or just a portion of the corridor to a four-lane divided roadway between Ha’ikū Road, and Kamehameha Highway.
- Using a contra-flow system to enable a three-lane-wide corridor for all or just a portion of the corridor. Contra-flow would permit two travel lanes during the peak hours in the peak travel direction (southbound in the AM peak, northbound in the PM Peak), with a lane switched between the two peaks.
- Signal improvements at intersections, particularly Hui Iwa Street (East) and Hui Iwa Street (West).
- Addition of Transportation Systems Management (TSM) measures in the corridor such as multi-modal measures (transit improvements, Park and Ride facilities for commuters, High-Occupancy Vehicle provisions, travel demand reduction strategies, etc.
- Provision of pedestrian and/or bicycle facilities in various sections between Ha’ikū Road and Kamehameha Highway.
- Improvements to specific intersections without full widening of the entire roadway corridor were also suggested by the public.
The upcoming environmental documentation process will include further opportunities for public input at one or more public meetings.