Gov. Abercrombie made several inflammatory and counterproductive
statements at a recent Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce event. He blamed the Native Hawaiian Organizations, whoâ€™ve intervened in the Queen Kaahumanu Highway phase II widening project, for holding it up.
Federal funds will be used to widen Queen Kaahumanu Highway
between Honokohau harbor and Kona Intâ€™l Airport, so the FHWA and
HDOT is required to conduct Section 106 consultations (National Historic Preservation Act) when significant archaeological sites are found
These issues couldâ€™ve been addressed earlier, if they did a supplemental
environmental assessment. However, the HDOT and FHWA relied solely on an
assessment completed back in 1996 instead. This decision is the root
cause for these recent delays, not the actions of these Native Hawaiian
The widening of Queen Kaahumanu Highway between the harbor and Kona
Intâ€™l Airport is an important infrastructure project for West Hawaii.
The project stakeholders need to find common ground, so this important
roadway project can finally move forward.