Road adds 2nd link from Village Park to Waipahu
Annette Yamaguchi and her neighbors knew a nearby abandoned cane haul road could conveniently and safely link Village Park with the rest of Waipahu.
"It was a road just sitting there dead that said, 'Open me up,' Yamaguchi said.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann and other city and state officials will do just that today in dedicating the new road, which will provide a second link between the two communities. It will be known as Aiki Street, connecting Kupuna Loop in Village Park with Loaa Street in Waipahu.
"I think it's going to make a lot of people happy," Yamaguchi said.
The $3.2 million road construction, which started as a vision team project in the late 1990s, began two years ago and included making curbs, gutters, sidewalks, ramps and retaining walls and installing water lines, street lights and landscaping. The Kanana Fou Church transferred ownership of the property to the city for the road.
Yamaguchi and others spent years trying to get the city to open the road, partly because it is safer than Kunia Road, the crowded and sometimes dangerous link between Waipahu town and Village Park, where new shops and restaurants are sprouting up.
"When you want to go up to Village Park, you have to cross (over) two lanes of highway, and you've got oncoming traffic from Ewa, which is immense," said Yamaguchi, who began lobbying for the road when she was the chairwoman of the Waipahu Neighborhood Board.
"You say a Hail Mary and hope you can get through the traffic to the other side (the left lane). Otherwise you can't get there."
Mayor Mufi Hannemann said the new road also would help cut down on area traffic.
"The Village Park connector road will play a key role in easing traffic congestion by enabling motorists to reach either neighborhood without having to use the heavily traveled Kunia Road," Hannemann said in a statement.