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East // East Oahu News
Carol Chang

New Scenic Byway Tackling Next Hurdle: Preserve, Protect

Monk seals enjoy Halona Cove on a recent winter day — without even knowing that they are on newly designated Maunalua-Makapuu Scenic Byway land. Photo courtesy of the Local Byway Committee.

Monk seals enjoy Halona Cove on a recent winter day — without even knowing that they are on newly designated Maunalua-Makapuu Scenic Byway land. Photo courtesy of the Local Byway Committee.

Corridor management is the next hurdle for State Route 72 — the drive from Maunalua to Makapuu — which recently was made an official Hawaii Scenic Byway by the state Department of Transportation.

“It’s just the beginning of our byway journey,” stated project coordinator Greg Knudsen, who now will tackle the task with others to develop a corridor management plan (CMP) to protect and conserve all the assets along the 6.8-mile stretch of Kalanianaole Highway.

“We want to keep it as

natural and as undeveloped as possible.

“The byway is a precious resource for Oahu and the state,” he added, “and a particular source of pride for the residents of East Honolulu and East Windward, who have worked to preserve the route and its view plane for everyone to enjoy.”

The popular car trip from Hawaii Kai Drive to Makai Pier has much to offer in terms of history, archeology, culture, recreation and natural beauty.

In a Dec. 23 letter to Knudsen, DOT director Glenn Okimoto congratulated all stakeholders involved (Knudsen, Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, Ka Iwi Coalition) and called it “a treasured Ka Iwi coast corridor” that’s worthy of the CMP effort still ahead.

Also joining the state’s official byway list is Diamond Head Scenic Byway — “the Lei Around Le‘ahi” — with lead sponsor Diamond Head State Monument Foundation.

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