HONOLULU (KHON2) — After numerous delays, the long-awaited parking structure in Wailuku is set to open early next month. Supply chain issues and staffing are part of the setbacks but delays for other projects could be expected as the removal of debris and rebuilding from the wildfires takes priority.
Decisions will be made in the coming years as to what projects may have to be stalled in Maui County. County Chair Alice Lee said efforts to rebuild Lahaina will be at the forefront.
Lee said, “I believe a lot of projects unless they are related to public health and safety will have to be delayed, it’s not only we don’t have all the resources, we don’t have all the money to address those projects.”
Lee anticipates most people will be understanding when it comes time to decide which projects may face delays.
The Maui County Planning and Development Chief Erin Wade said, immediate projects are not likely to be impacted by the work in the burn zone areas, but once debris removal efforts begin in Lahaina, it is likely to take up many of the resources in the county.
Wade said, “As that starts to move forward in Lahaina probably every truck on the island will be hired to complete that debris removal process.”
Meanwhile, a major project in Wailuku is just weeks from being completed, the new parking structure with a capacity to fit 390 cars is expected to be completed before the end of the year. The project cost more than $30 million. It broke ground in March 2020 and it was expected to be completed in just under two years, but issues with material shipment and staffing caused some delays.
Wade said they are still waiting for ADA railing to come in before the structure can open.
Wade said, “Then as soon as the installation happens we will open and our projection is early December.”
Parking fees will be waived until July as parking rates are decided on.
Lee said, “You have employees, you have customers and you have residents so all three will be competing for those same stalls.”
For the Wailuku community, the new structure is more than just added parking spaces, it is also an opportunity for growth.
Wailuku Community Association President Kristin Holmes said, “We can do more in one contained business space by not being forced out of opportunities because of lack of parking so you can get more people working in one space.”
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A blessing of the parking structure will take place this Friday.