A 2013 amendment to the Stafford Act added Section 428, which authorizes "alternative procedures" under the Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance Program.
Funding authorized through this program can be used to replace public infrastructure impacted by a disaster or for alternative infrastructure projects. This flexibility would allow the County to use funds in a way that best meets the needs for recovery, long-term resiliency and future preparedness.
Hawai‘i County is seeking FEMA 428 money for road, water and park infrastructure projects. FEMA funds require a 25% County match.
- Highway 137, Pohoiki Road, Leilani Avenue, Hinalo Street, Honuaula Street and Lighthouse Road.
- Cost estimate: Approximately $100 million.
The County Department of Public Works (DPW) submitted an updated cost estimate to FEMA on Oct. 22.
FEMA is reviewing DPW’s documentation to ensure compliance with federal requirements and cost effectiveness. Since DPW’s cost estimate is over $25 million, an independent panel of cost estimating experts will also review DPW’s documentation. Finally, FEMA and DPW will negotiate on any costs that is do not agree upon.
What happens after DPW and FEMA agree on road repair costs?
There are two options: Repair damaged roads or determine alternative projects.
Repair Damaged Roads
After FEMA and DPW agree on the total fixed estimate for the road repairs, FEMA’s Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) team will review the proposed road repairs to ensure compliance with all federal environmental and historic preservation requirements.
Once the federal EHP process is complete, the County can begin work on roads selected for repair. If construction begins before FEMA completes the EHP review, FEMA funding for that road will be jeopardized.
Determine Alternate Projects
Once one or more alternate projects are identified, FEMA will review the scope of work for the projects and approve them individually. Each project will have to go through its own EHP review process. That review will not impact work already begun on other roads or other alternate projects that have already been approved.
The Federal Highway Administration is providing up to $6.5 million to restore access over inundated portions of Highway 132. That amount is expected to cover the cost of the project.