Rep. Angus L.K. McKelvey (West Maui, Mā‘alaea, North Kīhei) has sent a letter to Gov. David Ige and the State Department of Transportation (DOT) spelling out why he will not attend a Blessing Ceremony for the Honoapiilani Highway Realignment project set for this Sunday, April 15.
The letter, addressed to Kevin K. Fujii at the DOT Air Protocol Office, reads:
Dear Mr. Fujii:
As the House Representative for the 10th District I must regretfully inform you that I will not be attending the Blessing Ceremony for the Honoapiilani Highway Realignment Phase 1b-2.
On behalf of my constituents I reached out to Gov. Ige in the hope that he would intercede in this project and compel the Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT) to work with the community and devise a better solution than the current design. I urged the governor to take action, since DOT insisted on pushing along unwanted proposed changes, and stressed that it was imperative that his office step in and halt any construction of the proposed designs because they were never vetted by the community and its impact was never discussed. Gov. Ige did not respond to the concerns of the Lahaina community.
The public was not given any chance to comment and receive the responses they deserve for their concerns. In fact, the planning modifications were never discussed with the community or their governmental representatives until literally the last minute and presented as a “take it, this is the way it’s going to be” discussion.
The ramifications of this DOT decision are very troubling because it was never included in any planning documents or discussions until now. This rush to implement a lane elimination plan and make other changes to the traffic patterns on Keawe will have a detrimental impact that will create traffic congestion on the West Side of Maui.
Instead of trying to work together to resolve this and other matters of concern in our community, the DOT continues to move ahead full speed in spite of concerns that are continuously being raised by myself and others.
It is for all the above stated reasons that, despite securing the funds for this latest phase of the Lahaina Bypass, I will regrettably not be attending the Blessing Ceremony.
Respectfully submitted with kind regards,
Angus McKelvey, Representative
10th District – West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei