Worst roads: State embarks on projects to resurface highways and freeways

Published  6:38 PM HST Feb 13, 2013
Bingham Street Pothole
HONOLULU -

On Feb. 4, we asked which roads on Oahu are in the worst shape, and KITV4 viewers responded by the dozens. After we sent viewers' responses from Twitter and Facebook to the Hawaii Department of Transportation, the state came back with some answers.

HDOT spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said the department realizes there is a large amount of work to be done, and some of it is already being planned, or underway.

Judd Okayama and Randy Yamasaki said Bingham Street near the H-1 Freeway needs some serious rehabilitation. "Coming off the freeway at high speed, it's extremely dangerous to avoid the large road damage," wrote Yamasaki.

Maintenance-type repairs for Bingham Street from the H-1 off-ramp to Isenberg Street are scheduled this summer at a cost of $400,000.

Several viewers flagged nearly the entire stretch of Kalanianaole Highway in East Oahu. Elaine Nishime said on Facebook, "Kalanianiole Highway... an adventure to straddle the sinkholes."

The state said some relief is coming. This fall, the state will advertise bids to resurface the Kalanianaole Highway from West Hind Drive to Hanauma Bay.

"We're going to advertise it either this summer, or this fall," Sluyter said of the project. "It takes a couple of months after we advertise it for construction to start, but that's a major resurfacing project that we're looking forward to."

Brendan O'Connor, meanwhile, is looking ahead to driving on a smooth Pali Highway. "It is ridiculous that a main highway is that bad," O'Connor said on Facebook.

The state says O'Connor will have to wait a while longer to see a completely smooth highway, but some spot work is on tap this summer.

"Pali Highway does have some issues," said Sluyter. "We're going to catch the worst areas."

Sluyter added that a more extensive resurfacing and rehabilitation project for the Pali is scheduled sometime in 2014.

Tim wrote to KITV4 about the sad state of Kamehameha Highway, from Lanikuhana Avene in Mililani, to Ka Uka Boulevard in Waipio Gentry.

"The road is so uneven, with no drivable asphalt surfaces in some places, and filled with potholes," Tim wrote.  HDOT expects to start accepting bids for a $13 million resurfacing project for that particular stretch of Kamehameha Highway this fall.

"So, several months after that, that should go out and that'll be a major resurfacing project too," said Sluyter.

Finally, work is already under way to address the many uneven surfaces and potholes on the H-1 Freeway, especially westbound between Pearl City and Red Hill. An $82 million project to prepare the freeway for the nighttime contraflow lane is forcing nightly, multiple lane closures.

"We have to do major deck repairs, so that's what's going on over there," said Sluyter. "They go in, they demolish the concrete (and) they pour new concrete. That's why we have to close so many lanes."  

Meanwhile, at the city level, Councilman Stanley Chang has asked the Department of Facility Maintenance to generate a list of which roads in each council district fall below a pavement condition index score of 25. Last year, the city began a new pavement management system that scores all city roads from zero to 100.

"I wouldn't say that there's any area on the island that's really nice (and has) good roads throughout," said Chang. "I will say that the report confirmed a lot of what we've been hearing from our constituents, that Hawaii Kai (and) Kaimuki being two of the major hotspots for bad roads."

Cyndy Aylett, management analyst at DFM, said 8 percent of all city roads fall below a score of 25, which makes for miserable driving. Aylett said a report of each individual council district should be ready in a matter of days, not weeks.

On Wednesday, Chang's Committee on Public Works and Sustainability was briefed on a report about the Pavement Management System.

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