Maui News

Tsutsui Urges Congress to Address National Transportation Funding

March 26, 2014, 10:01 AM HST
* Updated March 27, 7:29 AM
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Lahaina Mini-Bypass. Photo courtesy Hawaii Department of Transportation.

Lahaina Mini-Bypass. File photo courtesy Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation.

By Maui Now Staff

Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui of Maui is the cosponsor of a bipartisan resolution urging congress to develop a long-term vision for the nation’s surface transportation projects.

The resolution was passed by the National Lieutenant Governors Association last week, and comes as the national Highway Trust Fund is projected to become insolvent this year.

Hawaiʻi gets an estimated $160 million in federal highway funds each year, which are used to fund large scale projects through 80% federal and 20% state funding, according to Tsutsui.

“Recent examples include, but are not limited to, the ongoing H-1 Freeway Rehabilitation Project, the Vineyard Boulevard Resurfacing Project, the Lahaina Bypass Road, Keaʻau-Pāhoa Shoulder Lane Conversion and the Līhue Mill Bridge Project,” Tsutsui said in a government press release.

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According to information released by the lieutenant governor’s office, “the US Department of Transportation may begin taking special actions this summer, including substantially delaying transportation payments to states, or paying a significantly reduced share of such payments.

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“Without adequate funding, the deterioration of roads, bridges and other systems will negatively impact Hawaii’s quality of life in the way of safety, tourism and business in general,” the announcement said.

 

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