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We must improve our highways, harbors and airports, which are essential to our people and our economy

We must improve our highways, harbors and airports, which are essential to our people and our economy

Highways, harbors and airports are the essential transportation lifelines that connect Hawai‘i’s people and businesses to each other and the world.

Our highways must be improved to better serve our communities and sustain the growth of our economy. Our airports must be first-class facilities that support our largest industry. This is crucial infrastructure, essential to vibrant communities, a healthy economy, our military, and a sustainable visitor industry. We have a long-standing Airport Modernization Plan, but execution has been plagued by delays, mismanagement, bidding and contracting mistakes, and lax oversight. Construction projects have taken years longer than planned and gone millions over budget.

“We’re behind … and we really need to catch up.” – David Ige’s Deputy Director of Highways

And it insults voters for David Ige to now make election year promises for unfunded expansions that will not be implemented for another decade.

Our harbors must also be improved to lower the cost of shipping goods to local residents and businesses. This is a statewide issue, with important needs that must be addressed on each island. I will move swiftly to put long-delayed modernization plans into action.

Nowhere is our rundown infrastructure more apparent than on our state highways, ranked among the worst in the nation. Working families on every island rely on the state highway system, yet must waste extra hours commuting every week.

We cannot wait another four years while deteriorating roads endanger highway users and inflict more damage to their vehicles, even as federal highway funds go unspent and millions of taxpayer dollars are wasted on mismanaged projects and precious time is lost.

As governor, I will see to it that plans and funds to improve our airports, harbors and highways are put into action. Neglect of our vital infrastructure will never happen under my leadership.

I will set achievable goals for which I can be held accountable, and work tirelessly to make transport between our communities safer, faster and easier, and to sustain the growth of our economy.