Federal transportation officials have committed to $20 million in funding to help the state build a pedestrian bridge over Ala Moana Boulevard, according to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.
The funds come from the U.S. Department of Transportation through a grant program focusing on projects that have a significant local or regional impact, according to announcement from Schatz’s office.
The new pedestrian bridge will connect Ala Moana Beach Park and Kewalo Harbor to Ward Village, Ala Moana Center, and the future Ward rail station, Schatz said.
“We had to compete for these dollars, so this is an especially big win for Oahu residents,” said Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. “These new federal funds will make it easier and safer for people to visit Ala Moana Beach Park, shop at local businesses, and access the future rail line.”
Kakaako developer Howard Hughes Corp. welcomed the news.
“This elevated walkway over Ala Moana Boulevard is a game-changer,” Simon Treacy, Hawaii president for the Howard Hughes Corp., said in a news release. “This overpass will provide the community with a safe and secure pedestrian experience connecting mauka to makai. Through this public-private partnership, we look forward to developing a world-class, public amenity. We thank our partners at DOT and our Federal Delegation for their efforts in achieving this major milestone for Hawaii.”
The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD Transportation Discretionary grant, formerly known as the TIGER grant, was also awarded to Kauai County in 2015 to help revitalize Lihue, according to Schatz. Since 2009, the program has provided a combined $7.1 billion to 554 projects in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands.