Saddle Road project delayed: Work now set to be complete by early October

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Drivers will have to wait a little longer before using the latest improvements to the Daniel K. Inouye Highway.

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Drivers will have to wait a little longer before using the latest improvements to the Daniel K. Inouye Highway.

Shelly Kunishige, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said the $52.3 million east-side realignment project that started last year is expected to be dedicated in early October. It was previously scheduled to be complete this month.

She said completion was pushed back due to added work.

That includes containment and treatment of cleared ohia trees to prevent spread of rapid ohia death; additional drainage work; as well as finalizing land acquisition. Kunishige said the project remains within its budget.

As of Aug. 1, the project was listed as 71 percent complete on DOT’s website.

The widening and realignment project is occurring between mile markers 6 and 11.

The existing road will remain while a new connection will be made with the Puainako extension makai of the intersection with Kaumana Drive.

The extension would be the first new leg of the highway, also known as Saddle Road, since a new connection was made with Mamalahoa Highway on the westside in September 2013.

Officials also are proposing to extend the highway to Queen Kaahumanu Highway near Waikoloa.

According to DOT, $311 million had been spent improving the highway, formerly a one-lane road.

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The road began in 1942 as an access route for the U.S. Army.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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