The Hawaii Department Transportation (HDOT) has decided that this project will be community driven, so input from local residents is key to the determination of what will get done. HDOT has retained SSFM International, Inc. as the consultant for the Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road Improvements Project to assist with the community process, planning, engineering and environmental analysis.
The planning study will examine the best combination of actions to improve capacity and safety on the road for improving future traffic conditions. Improvements may include intersection improvements, accommodations for multiple travel modes, and widening and/or realignment of portions of the existing Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road (Highway 130).
The planning portion of this project will include an alternatives analysis and an extensive public involvement program which involves a Context Sensitive Solutions approach. A Draft Environmental Assessment (DEA) was made available in May 2010 and the Final EA/Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is expected to be completed by late 2010 or early 2011. Design and construction will follow the planning process.
Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road is located on the Island of Hawai‘i in the District of Puna. The approximately 10.5 mile corridor extends southerly from its junction with the Kea‘au Bypass, continues along to the Pāhoa Bypass and terminates at the intersection of the Pāhoa Bypass and the Pāhoa-Kapoho Road. The location map can be found
The primary purpose of this project is to provide a safe and efficient travel route between Hilo and the Puna District, which is one of the fastest growing areas in the State of Hawai‘i, by improving traffic conditions along this highway corridor between Kea‘au and Pāhoa. Currently, the Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road is heavily congested during its peak hours of operation.
The Hawai‘i Long-Range Land Transportation Plan (HLRLTP), completed in May 1998, identified the potential for very significant development in the Puna region due to availability of approximately 56,000 residential lots. Based on the resulting 2020 traffic forecast, the HLRLTP recommended the need to increase the capacity of Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road by adding two (2) lanes between Kea‘au Bypass and Paradise Drive and between Paradise Drive and the Pāhoa Bypass.
The growth potential has been confirmed more recently in the County of Hawai‘i Draft Community Development Plan (CDP) for Puna. The Draft Puna CDP identifies the formation of village centers which could concentrate business and retail activities. It also calls for connections between these concentrations and for additional road capacity through a future road most frequently called Puna Makai Alternate Route (PMAR). For further information about county plans, visit the county web site
You may add your name and contact information to the
project mailing list.
We will send you periodic newsletters either by e-mail or paper-mail. The newsletters will provide information on the study and inform you of planned meetings where you can ask questions of the people working on the project.
The Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) process is collaborative and structured to create consensus among stakeholders and HDOT. CSS is defined as having early, open, honest, and continuous communication and sharing of information and knowledge both from professionals and from the personal experiences of residents and other stakeholders. The results of a CSS process should develop a transportation facility that fits its physical setting and preserves scenic, aesthetic, historic and environmental resources while maintaining safety and mobility.
Unfortunately, this opportunity is no longer available since the deadline has passed and the members of the Advisory
Group have been selected. We still have a need for your perspective and ask that you participate in our meetings as a Friend of the Advisory
Group. As a Friend, we encourage you to attend all Advisory
Group meetings, and you will receive all project data and mail-outs. Members and Friends of the Advisory
Group will be working directly with HDOT to identify the purpose and need and to develop an acceptable range of alternatives for this project. If you are interested in becoming a Friend please send your name, contact information, and a short message to
Input from Keaau-Pahoa Advisory Group (KPAG) Members and the general public has been solicited and are discussed in the Draft Environmental Assessment.
A roundabout is a one-way, circular intersection in which traffic flows around a center island. Roundabouts are designed to meet the needs of all road users--drivers, pedestrians, pedestrians with disabilities, and bicyclists. A roundabout eliminates some of the conflicting traffic movements, such as left turns, which cause crashes at traditional intersections. Because roundabout traffic enters or exits only through right turns, the occurrence of severe crashes is substantially reduced. Small angle collisions that may occur as a result of a right-hand turn are typically less severe than other types of collisions.
Not all circular intersections are roundabouts. Many existing traffic circles or rotaries operate under different traffic rules and have experienced operational and safety problems.
The three safety design features of a roundabout are yield control of entering traffic; channelized approaches that deflect traffic into the proper one-way, counterclockwise flow; and geometric curvature of the circular road and angles of entry to slow the speed of vehicles. These three features are critical to the success of a roundabout because they effectively decrease driving speed to typically 48 kilometers (30 miles) per hour or less.
In 1995, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) created the Stop Red Light Running Program, designed to educate the public on the dangers of red light running and increase enforcement efforts at a grassroots, community level. In 1998, DaimlerChrysler and the American Trauma Society (ATS) joined the FHWA to bring the Stop Red Light Running program nationwide. Since its inception, the program has been piloted in numerous communities. For more information visit
The following projects are listed in the State Transportation Improvement Program.
Road, Shoulder Lane
Conversion and Traffic
Signal Installation at
Drive, Kea‘au Bypass to
Road Highway Access
of Ka Ohuwalu Street (Maku‘u
Improvements at Paradise
Improvements at Old
Kaloli Drive, Orchidland
Drive, and Ainaloa
Resurfacing, Route 11 to
Mile Marker 1
Improvements at Kahakai
Kea‘au to Pahoa
That will not be known for some time. The project has a list of all addresses along the route. If your property is affected by any of the recommendations, you will be contacted well in advance. We will also post that information on this web site. If any portions of a property are taken, compensation will be made.
As a follow-up to concerns raised by the public at the Kea'au-Pāhoa Road Improvements Public Informational Meeting held on April 17, 2008, Mr. Glenn Yasui, the Administrator for the Highways Division, met with Stanley Tamura, the Hawaii District Engineer to discuss immediate remedies. As a result of this discussion, an
Advisory Group was formed to identify immediate and interim improvements. The District Office was assigned to lead this effort and any
advisory group will be posted on this web site.
This project is following an environmental review process required under Hawai‘i Revised Statutes Chapter 343 and the federal National Environmental Policy Act. These laws require assessment of the anticipated environmental impacts of a project prior to final design and construction. The documentation for this project is an Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA looks at five alternatives, impacts of those alternatives, and ways to mitigate those impacts.
Scoping, also known as early consultation, represented the first step in the project environmental review process required under state and federal law. The general public and governmental agencies were asked in 2009 to provide input and suggestions about the purpose and need for the project, the study alternatives, and the environmental, social, and economic impacts to be analyzed in the EA.
The Draft EA was completed in May, 2010. The Draft EA is available for viewing here:
Click Here to View
A public comment period will be held through July 23, 2010 and public hearing on the Draft EA will be held at Kea‘au Elementary School on June 29, 2010. After the comment period is finished, a Final EA will be produced to address the input received and to disclose a preferred alternative. The Final EA process is expected to result in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The Final EA and FONSI are expected to be completed in late 2010 or early 2011. Once those documents have been completed, the planning process will be finished, at which time final design, right of way acquisition, and construction can occur.