The Leeward Bikeway will be transformative to lives of thousands that live, work, and play in Leeward Oahu by providing them a safe biking and walking path. HBL and thousands of advocates have been pushing for implementation as soon as possible. It’s been a long journey – planned since 1977 and since 2014 it’s been HBL’s #1 advocacy priority and we’ve dedicated tons of outreach to build what is now very solid community support. We say with cautious optimism that we are nearing success.
Focus on Phase I – The Hawaii Department of Transportation made the decision to make Phase I a separate project from Phase II. Phase I extends from the end of the Pearl Harbor Bike Path at Waipahu Depot Road to Philippine Sea Road in Ewa (by the Hawaiian Railway Society) – see map below.
Milestones – In June 2018, HDOT published the Final Environmental Assessment for project (link) – this is a major milestone that includes with it the completion of a large portion of the regulatory requirements. As of December 2018, the National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 process (a law and process intended to protect historic priorities) is still outstanding. HBL is an official participant in the Section 106 and we are cautiously optimistic that process will conclude in the next 1-2 months. After completion of this, the Leeward Bikeway Phase I should go to bid and then construction in 6-12 months.
What about Phase II – In separating out Phase II from the Phase I, HDOT has announced that they are deferring implementation of the Phase II section for the foreseeable future. The reasons provided for deferring Phase II are that there are long sections of Phase II where existing utility poles need to either be moved or additional land is needed for the path to avoid them, which would require a lengthy and potentially costly land acquisition process or significantly increase the project cost for relocating utilities. HDOT also says the pre-utility issue project cost estimate of $13M is funding they do not have and based on current funding levels won’t have in future years. Phase II extends from Philippine Sea Road in Ewa (by the Hawaiian Railway Society) and Lualualei Naval Road in Nanakuli – see map below.
Continuing to Advocate for Phase II – We’re not giving up on the full Leeward Bikeway! We plan to continue to organize and advocate – we already have the support of the Nanakuli/Maili and Kapolei Neighborhood Boards, the neighborhoods Phase II will serve. We’ll be reaching out to the area legislators to request their support. We will need your support in this! Please make sure you’re on the list of Leeward Bikeway Supporters so you’ll receive our calls when action is needed.
More info on the Leeward Bikeway – See the Vision! – Click here for our page that provides you extensive information on the Leeward Bikeway.