UPDATE – (9:45 p.m. on Monday, September 12)
- The stretch of Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway between Kawaihae Road and Waikoloa Beach Drive is now 45 mph.
From the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation:
The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) announces that the speed limit on the Queen Kaahumanu Highway (Route 19) between mile posts 67 and 75.4 (vicinity of Kawaihae Road and vicinity of Waikoloa Beach Drive) is now 45 mph. New speed limit signs were installed in early September and took effect Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.
Before, the speed limit along this corridor ranged from 55 mph to 45 mph. It was 55 mph between the highway intersection with Kawaihae Road and the north entrance of Waikoloa Beach Drive; then it changed to 45 mph until the south entrance of Waikoloa Beach Drive. The speed limit on Queen Kaahumanu between south Waikoloa Beach Drive and the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA) was 55 mph and 45 mph at the intersection leading to KOA.
Changing the speed limit to make it a consistent 45 mph was prompted by crash data, including one fatal crash, T-bone crashes at the Mauna Lani Drive intersection, reported near crashes, and the presence of adjacent residences.
HDOT actively manages speed to improve safety on state roads by using tactics such as speed limit signs, right sizing, roundabouts, and raised pedestrian crosswalks where appropriate. The likelihood of fatality increases significantly with speed for all users of the highway. Implementing speed management and traffic calming can reduce serious traffic injuries and fatalities while ensuring an efficient system.
HDOT appreciates all drivers that follow traffic control signs and contribute to safety on our roads.