State opens bypass road to improve harbor freight traffic, efficiency


State transportation officials opened a new bypass road Monday that’s expected to have a huge long-term impact on Hawaii’s traffic and economy.

Lines of tractor-trailers waited to check into the harbor, where they’ll put all their containers on ships headed to other islands.

Goods come in one harbor, but ship out from another. On a busy day, you might see 1,600 trucks traveling from the Matson terminal on Sand Island to the Young Brothers terminal.

To do that, they’d have to go up Sand Island Access Road, then head east on Auiki Street.

“(It was) very bad for businesses and residents and it was really tricky getting around the line of trucks. You never knew who was going to pull out or what the oncoming traffic was going to be like,” said Garrett Sakakila, Hawaii Transportation Association.

That’s why the state opened a private bypass road that cost $150,000 to pave. It’s only for trucks and serves as a shortcut to the Young Brothers terminal.

Before the road opened, the line of trucks was much longer.

“The cost savings that we get by increasing the number of trips the truckers can do to bring more cargo here faster, those cost savings will be passed along,” said Darrell Young, deputy director, Department of Transportation Harbors Division.

Young says a truck driver makes about eight trips a day, and this road will increase that number to 10, so goods might reach the other islands faster.

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