Malama Makaha continues efforts to reroute highway mauka of surfing beach
This is an update on our efforts to reroute Farrington Highway around the mauka side of Makaha Beach Park.
Malama Makaha has been aware that the Hawaii DOT is desperately trying to circumvent a Section 4(f) stipulation of the Dept. of Transportation Act. This 4(f) requirement became known after Malama Makaha submitted an Environmental Violation Report to the EPA in July 2013. Since HDOT has not been forthcoming on their actions to satisfy the 4(f) requirement nor respond to the potential catastrophic design error of the temporary by-pass road identified by Malama Makaha, Malama Makaha was recently forced to escalate the issue to the Secretary of Transportation.
Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act, 49 U.S.C. § 303 and 23 U.S.C. § 138, provides for the protection of historic resources from potentially adverse impacts of federal transportation projects. Specifically, the law states that any federally assisted transportation projects may not “use” land from a historic site or park, among other environmentally sensitive areas, unless 1) there is “no feasible and prudent alternative” to using the site, and 2) the project includes all possible planning to minimize harm to the site.
The Makaha Bridges Project violates Section 4(f), in that there are “Prudent” and “Feasible Alternatives” available to HDOT and DOT. Moreover, even if there were “no prudent and feasible alternatives”, which is not the case, HDOT and DOT must “minimize harm” before the project may proceed, and in the case of the makai, beachside temporary by-pass road there is no effort being taken to “minimize harm”. Nor is HDOT and DOT “minimizing harm” by continuing to route a State Highway through the middle of the internationally famous and revered Makaha Beach Park.
Malama Makaha is hopeful that the Secretary of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency will ensure HDOT complies with the Section 4(f) requirements and that a favorable outcome will result in the proper routing of Farrington Highway around the mauka side of Makaha Beach Park.
A copy of Malama Makaha’s submission to the Secretary and EPA can be viewed at:
The next obvious question is how can supporters help? We do not believe there are any State or City and County Officials or Departments willing or able to provide meaningful assistance in this effort. Most of the local bureaucrats and politicians support the status quo and will not stick their necks out even for a just cause and Malama Makaha is very disappointed in the resistance and roadblocks created by State Representative Jo Jordan against our cause; this should be remembered by voters during the upcoming election.
Malama Makaha supporters are encouraged to contact the Department of Transportation and the EPA over the next couple of weeks after our letter has had a chance to be reviewed by the Feds.
Secretary of Transportation (202) 366-4000.
EPA (Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance) (202) 564-2440.
As always, we do not ask for a dime of your money, but we do need you to make calls, attend key meetings and get involved as often as you can.
Mahalo Nui Loa,