Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and BP Wind Energy announced Thursday, Sept. 13, that large semi-trucks carrying "super loads" of wind turbine components began traveling from a staging site near Kahului Harbor through South Maui to the Auwahi Wind project site in 'Ulupalakua on Tuesday, Sept. 18.
During the six-week delivery period, a total of 56 oversized loads carrying large components will be transported from Kahului to Makena, Monday through Friday between and 10 p.m. To minimize traffic impacts, no more than three oversized loads will be transported on any given day.
"We have an open and ongoing dialogue with the community about the deliveries to minimize traffic impacts and keep Maui residents informed throughout construction," said Dan Hyatt, construction manager for Sempra U.S. Gas & Power's Auwahi Wind project. "We are working with several public agencies to ensure that all necessary transportation safety measures are in place."
The transportation route consists of a 27-mile stretch that begins at the staging site, departing along Hansen Road and traveling onto Mokulele Highway (State Route 311). From there, the following route will be utilized: Pi'ilani Highway (State Route 31) to Wailea Ike Drive to Wailea Alanui Drive to Makena Alanui Road to Papaka Road to Upcountry Pi'ilani Highway.
Trucks carrying turbine components will depart the staging site around 5 p.m. Travel on Wailea Ike Drive, Wailea Alanui Drive and Makena Alanui Road will occur only between 7 and 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. Travel on Upcountry Pi'ilani Highway from Papaka Road to the Auwahi Wind site may occur in the evening or mornings after 7 a.m.
Temporary road closures lasting approximately 15 minutes will occur at the intersection of Wailea Ike and Wailea Alanui Drive, where temporary traffic control will be present, and near the Makena Beach & Golf Resort. When the super loads reach Upcountry Pi'ilani Highway, intermittent full road closures (both lanes) will take place between mile markers 16 and 20, lasting approximately 30 minutes. Extended delays are possible due to unforeseen circumstances.
Each oversized load will be accompanied by escort vehicles with flashing lights to alert drivers. Electronic notification boards will be placed along Upcountry Pi'ilani Highway in advance of the super load transports, alerting Maui residents of the upcoming closures.
Transportation notices are being publicized in local newspapers and on radio stations. Residents can also access updated transportation schedules and other project information via the Internet at www.SempraUSGP.com/auwahi or by calling the Auwahi Wind project hotline at (888) 587-2919.
Auwahi Wind is a joint development of Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and BP Wind Energy. Construction on the 21-megawatt wind farm, located on the 'Ulupalakua Ranch along the wind-rich southeastern flank of Haleakala, began in March 2012. When completed later this year, the project's eight wind turbines will generate enough electricity to power about 10,000 Maui homes, and help Hawai'i reach its goal of securing 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.