STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1428
RE: S.C.R. No. 235
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Transportation, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 235 entitled:
"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO EVALUATE KUAKINI HIGHWAY AND QUEEN KAAHUMANU HIGHWAY BETWEEN HENRY STREET AND KAMEHAMEHA III ROAD ON HAWAI‘I ISLAND AND CONDUCT A FEASIBILITY STUDY REGARDING TRAFFIC REDUCTION BY WIDENING THE HIGHWAY OR OTHER ALTERNATIVE MEANS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to request the Department of Transportation (DOT) to:
(1) Evaluate traffic congestion on Kuakini Highway and Queen Kaahumanu Road on Hawaii Island; and
(2) Conduct a feasibility study regarding traffic reduction by widening those highways or by other alternative means.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Transportation.
Your Committee finds that the island of Hawaii has experienced a growth in population and accompanying increases in traffic congestion. The DOT has acknowledged this problem along certain segments of road and looked into widening the roads in North Kona to alleviate the traffic congestion. Unfortunately, the DOT found that it would require more than $150,000,000 to complete the project, an amount that renders the project infeasible. However, the traffic issues still remain and something must be done. This measure encourages the DOT to conduct a feasibility study regarding traffic reduction through either lane repainting to narrow the lanes or through other alternative means.
Your Committee also notes that flooding along certain portions of Hawaii Belt Road (Mamalohoa Highway) and Meleana Place on the island of Hawaii are prone to flooding after completion of a highway improvement project in 1997. This flooding creates hazardous conditions for drivers and significant property damage for residents whose properties abut the flooded areas. Your Committee acknowledges that the portions of highway in question are currently under private ownership and as such the DOT does not have jurisdiction to make any repairs or improvements at this time. However, given the impact of this flooding on residents your Committee feels the issue is ripe for discussion so that, should the area in question come under state control in the future, the DOT will be well-positioned to respond.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting language from S.C.R. No. 51, Regular Session 2021, regarding flooding along certain portions of the Hawaii Belt Road (Mamalahoa Highway) and Meleana Place on the island of Hawaii and requesting the DOT to conduct a study and prepare a plan to remediate the flooding issues at the appropriate time;
(2) Requesting the DOT to consider narrowing the lanes to a uniform width of ten feet in acknowledgement of the testimony from the DOT that the lane width along Kuakini Highway and Queen Kaahumanu Highway between Henry Street and Kamehameha III Road on the island of Hawaii island is not currently a uniform fourteen feet in width as previously understood but instead varies between twelve and a half feet and ten feet;
(3) Amending its title in accordance with its amended purpose; and
(4) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Transportation that is attached to this report, your Committee concurs with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 235, as amended herein, and recommends its adoption in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 235, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Transportation,
CHRIS LEE, Chair