Highway 130 Updates… and Another Meeting?

This is kind of odd news to me, they are having more KPAG meetings for the Kea`au – Pahoa Highway 130 Project.

As one of the members of the group, I got the following emailed to me, which this seems like a very strange way to announce that meetings have started up again.


We look forward to your participation at our next KPAG Meeting scheduled for:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2009 at 5:45 PM

at the Keaau Elementary School.

Our agenda will cover discussions on the Environmental Assessment (EA).  A status update can be found in this newsletter.


On June 10 and 19, 2009, SSFM staff visited residents along the Keaau-Pahoa Road to seek permission prior to field staff entering or crossing their property to conduct fieldwork necessary for the EA. Flyers that outlined the fieldwork to be conducted, were left with the residents and left on the doorsteps of those who were not available.  Completion of this field work is expected by September 2009.


In response to a question posed at a KPAG meeting, HDOT determined that the estimated cost for the installation of the traffic signal at Shower Drive is approximately $450,000. The new traffic signal is part of the Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion project which will provide a permanent second northbound lane for motorists and a shoulder for bicyclists and pedestrians, and improvements to the mauka shoulder to be used as a shoulder lane during afternoon peak traffic hours. Construction is expected to begin in Fall 2010.


July 2009

HDOT’s consultant team is performing analyses needed to complete the Environmental Assessment (EA), as required by the National Environmental Policy Act and Hawaii Chapter 343. In a number of cases, team members have visited (or will visit) the study area to assess the existing environment and future impacts of the project, both during construction and after the improved facility opens. Here is the current status of this work as of mid-July 2009:


SSFM International is responsible for producing the EA document and for designing the roadway to a preliminary design level that can be studied in the EA. These efforts are both underway and on schedule.


Roger Dyar, the traffic consultant, is currently performing the traffic analysis for this project. This includes computer modeling of the traffic in the corridor to determine the functioning of intersection designs. He will also model travel speeds and evaluate the performance of the roadway along Keaau-Pahoa Road. He is modeling traffic under all project alternatives, for both AM and PM peak hours, and for different years of analysis. Addressing safety and existing deficiencies are an important part of his work. His traffic data will influence the design of the roadway, and it is also needed to model noise and air impacts.


The firm Earthplan is studying the socioeconomics impacts of the project area. They have assembled existing data on demographics and socio-economics in the study area. They will be conducting interviews with members of the community as part of their analysis. Their study is expected to be complete by

the end of the summer.


BD Neal and Associates is studying the air quality effects of the project, and will be performing modeling of air quality using computer models approved by the EPA and the Federal Highway Administration. The analysis will determine if future air pollution would exceed federal or state standards. The modeling will be performed once traffic data completed.


DL Adams and Associates is evaluating noise impacts from the project. They will be taking measurements of existing noise levels and predicting future noise levels using a computer model created by the Federal Highway Administration. This analysis will be performed once traffic data is completed.


Geometrician Associates has performed a field study of botanical resources in the corridor, to document if any threatened or endangered plant species are present in the corridor. Their fieldwork has been completed and their final report will be available shortly.


Rana Environmental Consulting has been performing fieldwork in the corridor on fauna to determine if the project will have an impact on threatened or endangered species, particularly birds or bats. Fieldwork has been underway and a report will be available within the next few weeks.


AECOS has been looking at aquatic resources and water quality associated with surface waters found in the corridor. They performed fieldwork earlier this summer and documented their findings of resources in a draft report that is currently being edited to final form.


CMF Engineers is studying drainage in the corridor and helping our designers ensure that the project will improve drainage problems and not create new drainage problems in the corridor. Their findings will also document the impacts of the project on floodplains. The hydrology report is scheduled for completion in August.


Cultural Surveys Hawaii will be performing fieldwork to search for archaeological resources in the study area. They are also conducting a Cultural Impact Assessment of the corridor to document the anticipated effects of this project on traditional cultural practices. Background data has been collected for both efforts and future work will involve field visits and interviews with local residents. The archeology study will be completed by the end of the summer. The Cultural Impact Study will take several weeks longer.


MK Engineers is assisting the project designers in determining the effects of the project on utility relocations. They are also involved in estimating the electrical construction costs of the project. They will be in contact with utility companies to confirm the potential impacts to utility lines within the corridor. The utility relocations analysis will begin when preliminary design has defined the anticipated limits of construction and right-of-way. This is expected to be completed by the end of August, with the utility relocations analysis completed in mid-September.