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Millions released for Kaua‘i improvement projects

LIHU‘E — Outgoing Gov. David Ige announced on Monday the release of $392 million in funds for capital improvement projects, including millions for a range of projects on Kaua‘i.

“These projects support the priorities I’ve advocated for over the past eight years, including affordable housing, education, environmental protection and essential infrastructure for our communities statewide,” said Ige. “It’s been gratifying to partner with the Legislature to provide improved facilities where they’re needed the most.”

The total funds for Kaua‘i amount to at least $7 million, and include investments in hospitals, schools, jails and transportation infrastructure.

Among the most significant allocations is $1.7 million that will partially fund a project to improve the road leading into the Waimea Canyon State Park.

“What we’re aiming to accomplish is to maintain the roadway conditions by repaving and strengthening weakened areas of the road, and widening the shoulder as much as we can,” said Project Manager Eric Fujikawa.

The project, which will also add guardrails to sections of the road, is currently in the bid review process, and is expected to begin in spring 2023 and end by early 2024. Fujikawa said he didn’t expect it would have a significant impact on traffic.

“We’re expecting them to do most of the major construction work at night,” said Fujikawa. The total cost of the project is tentatively estimated at $8.5 million.

State Department of Public Safety spokesperson Toni Schwartz reported that $2.75 million of the funding released by the Ige is going to the Kaua‘i
Community Correctional Center.

A total of $1.25 million is going to mechanical and electrical improvements and repairs, while $1.5 million will fund the partial replacement of the floor in the food service unit. The total cost of the food service project is $4.2 million.

A total of about $1.25 million is also going to Kaua‘i hospital upgrades.

Of that amount, about $1 million is going to the partial replacement and upgrade of the electrical and air conditioning systems at Samuel Mahelona Memorial Hospital, while $241,710 is going to improved signage at Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Hospital.

Ige also released $1 million for improvements at Koloa School.

Additional funds released for statewide wastewater treatment, traffic, hurricane preparedness, schools, harbors and airport initiatives could also possibly be used in Kaua‘i projects.

“Projects such as these are critical components of the public infrastructure and contribute to building a better home for our kupuna, keiki and all the residents of Hawai‘i,” wrote Ige in a letter to the Legislature.

“By working together, we can solve the great challenges of our time, create a more sustainable Hawai‘i, and establish the Hawaiian Islands as a place where future generations choose to call home.”

The full state budget this year included $6 billion for state capital improvement projects and $230 million for projects on Kaua‘i.

Ige’s term as governor will end Dec. 5, when he will be replaced by governor-elect Josh Green (D), who defeated Republican challenger Duke Aiona in the Nov. 8 general election.


Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 808-647-0329 or
Source: The Garden Island

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