Thursday, May 1, 2008

UPDATE: Makaha Surfing Beach Hwy Re-Routing

5/1/08: Follow-up correspondence between Rep. Shimabukuro and Dr. Brennon Morioka, DOT. Click to view the document: (1) From Maile to Brennon 4/08/08, (2) response from Brennon to Maile 4/21/08.

Original posting 3/15/08: Note: Here is recent correspondence between Maile and DOT on this important subject. You may click on the highway re-route map below to view the full-sized image:

From: Maile Shimabukuro
Date: 03/12/2008 11:00 AM

Brennon Morioka, Director
Department of Transportation
Aliiaimoku Hale
869 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

RE: Re-Route Plans for Farrington Highway at Makaha Surfing Beach (Kili Drive to Makaha Shores apartments)

Aloha Brennon:

As we discussed in the meeting with concerned resident Melvin Pu`u, enclosed please find the "Conceptual Master Plan for Makaha Beach Park" ("Plan") prepared by the City Department of Parks and Recreation some time around the mid-1980's, and provided to Mr. Pu`u by Jo Jordan, chair of the Wai`anae Neighborhood Board. The City has completed the canoe halau, parking lot, and bathroom on the mauka side of the existing Farrington Highway as provided for in this Plan.

The community is now urging the State to re-route Farrington Highway mauka of the canoe halau, from Kili Drive to the Makaha Shores apartments, as indicated by the dotted lined pathway in the enclosed Plan. As Mr. Pu`u explained, this re-routing does not require any displacement of homes, and is located on vacant City-owned land.

Further, the re-routing is essential for many reasons, such as the current on-going erosion problem at the beach, and the extreme danger to human life caused by having to cross Farrington Highway. This danger is exacerbated by the location of the canoe halau and bathroom, ie, children and adults must walk across and carry 40' canoes across the highway. Several tragic traffic deaths have already occurred at Makaha Surfing Beach, and residents fear that more lives will be lost. (See three news articles, enclosed).

Please note that this Plan also indicates that the existing bridge at the intersection of Kili Drive and Farrington Highway would be moved further mauka. This is also a change urged by the community.

Please notify me of the status of implementation of this Plan.

Mahalo nui loa for your hard work and on-going cooperation and assistance. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, at 586-8460 or


"Conceptual Master Plan for Makaha Beach Park," City Department of Parks and Recreation [see the map below; click on the map to view the full sized image]
"Beach Users Appeal for Safer Shower Site," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 4/9/07
"Improving Pedestrian Safety," KHNL News 8, 6/14/07
"Awash at the Bathhouse," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 8/12/96

Melvin Pu`u, Makaha Canoe Club head coach
Wayne Yoshioka, Director, City Department of Transportation Services
Maile received a response from DOT, summarized below:
  • DOT requested the entire report associated with the Conceptual Plan for Makaha Beach Park in order to evaluate the rationale behind it.

  • DOT explained that the Oahu Regional Transportation Plan (ORTP) includes this work as a part of a larger Farrington Hwy improvement project at a cost of $70 million. It is also listed as a project in the 2016 to 2030 period of the ORTP which means DOT cannot work on this issue until 2016. At that point, DOT would need to start the EIS, which will be required and take about 3 to 5 years to complete once an appropriation is made for this project.

  • If the community wants this project moved up in the ORTP, we must lobby the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (OMPO) when it updates the ORTP, which will begin this summer some time while updating traffic numbers. The catch is that since this is a financially constrained document, we must convince OMPO that this project is a higher priority than others in the current period up through 2016 to a tune of $70 million. If OMPO moves a project in or up, they must move an equivalent value back or out.
For more information, contact OMPO, at:

You may also email Brennon Morioka, DOT Director, at:

Note: Maile is interested in your thoughts on this subject. Please email her or post comments to this blog. She will keep the community updated on this issue.

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