Saddle Road funding update


In this post and this post, we looked at an earmark Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, secured for the Saddle Road project on Big Island. I sent a query along to Dave Gedeon, the project manager for the Central Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration, asking how the project was funded–whether these were military, Dept. of Transportation, or state funds, and which agency was managing the project. He was kind enough to respond and clarify:

Initial construction of Saddle Road began with the section that passes through the Department of the Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area; funding for this section was provided through military construction appropriations; specifically, the Defense Access Road Program. Only roads that are determined by the DOA to be important to national defense are eligible for DAR funds. The first DAR funded construction project began in 2004; a final DAR-funded project will be awarded this fiscal year and be completed in 2009. The initial emphasis was to reconstruct the DAR-funded section as first priority as the existing Saddle Road passes through the Army base and therefore impacts public and troop safety as well as military training at PTA.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation has provided funds from several of its own programs for the segments of Saddle Road that are outside of the army base; the majority of the State funds provided to date have been Surface Transportation Program funds. Construction of the first HDOT-funded project started in 2006 and will be completed this summer. Another State-funded project is scheduled to start construction in 2009.

The Central Federal Lands Highway Division is the lead agency for project development and construction contract administration and management. The project is a cooperative undertaking among our agency, the HI Department of Transportation, and the Department of the Army.

I think that’s reasonably clear, and explains why the House gives a project description of “Pohakuloa TA” [Training Area].