State considers widening highway into Mililani

Drivers may see some traffic relief on one of the main arteries into Central Oahu.

The state is looking at ways to improve Kamehameha Highway in anticipation of a new development.

The state is looking at the Kipapa Gulch area and is thinking of doubling the number of lanes on the highway and adding a new bridge.

This portion of Kamehameha Highway is a small but busy stretch of road.

“Traffic hour gets really bad, yah,” said Keola Rapoza, Mililani resident.

“This road gets very congested,” Kipapa Gulch resident Mike Dau said.

“Like certain times of the day, you can sit there forever, just waiting and waiting so they need to do something,” Waikele resident Leilani McDaniel said.

The state is thinking about how to improve the highway in Kipapa Gulch, and that includes the Kipapa Stream Bridge which was built in 1933. This was the only way in and out of Mililani’s southend until 1977 when the H-2 was built.

Even with that freeway, the two-lane road is still heavily used.

The state says nearly 39,000 cars drive through this area everyday.

That number will likely increase with the arrival of 3,500 new homes nearby since Castle and Cooke is scheduled to break ground on Koa Ridge later this year. So the state has come up with different ways to help drivers.

There is a proposed four-lane road and new bridge.

Another option is the highway as it stands would become the northbound lanes, heading into Mililani. Then there would be two new lanes, heading out of Mililani and into Waipio plus a new bridge.

Some people say this would help traffic and safety.

“Because it can be dangerous over there too. Well a lot of people try to pass each other even though it’s just the two lanes,” McDaniel said.

But not everyone agrees.

“I don’t think it would be worth it, the time they put into it,” Mililani resident Kristin Thames said.

The state does not have any cost estimates but is expected to choose a plan later this year.

The state proposed four different options. For more information or to submit your comment, contact Planning Project Coordinator Brian Takeda at 842-1133 or email briant@rmtowill.com.

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