HDOT and FHWA open new phase of Daniel K Inouye Highway
The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have officially opened the final phase of the reconstruction on the east side of Saddle Road, which now has been renamed as the Daniel K Inouye Highway.
The opening makes for a total of nearly 48 miles of road improved to modern standards, involving a cost of $316.5m.
The reconstructed portion of the road will be connected to the existing highway at the milepost 11 to the west end of the Puainako Street extension.
Hawaii Governor David Ige said: “The importance of the combined Saddle Road Improvement projects as a cross-island route cannot be overstated. It is a huge accomplishment.
“Senator Inouye’s vision, when he initiated the Saddle Road Community Task Force in 1993, is an excellent example of government and the community working together to benefit generations to come.”
Nearly six miles of road have been improved as part of the Saddle Road East Side project, which included reconstruction of three miles of the existing Daniel K Inouye Highway and upgrading the roadway to modern design standards.
The project also included the addition of new safety features such as eight-foot shoulder lanes, straighter alignment and a climbing lane.
The works were carried out with an investment of $57m and are said to have increased the highway capacity and eliminated potential conflicts between military operations and public traffic.
HDOT and FHWA jointly completed the Saddle Road project, which received funding from the US Department of the Army Defense Access Road and Ecosystem Management Programmes, US Congress, and Hawaii Department of Transportation.
FHWA Central Federal Lands project manager Mike Will said: “The completion of the Saddle Road East Side project provides a safe, efficient, cross-island route with access across Hawaii between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.
“In addition, the use of the Pohakuloa Training Area quarry resources is estimated to have saved approximately $20m of state and federal funding.”
Image: Photo of the new Daniel K Inouye Highway. Photo: courtesy of the State of Hawaii.