'Soft spots' delay road repaving project on major Oahu corridor

Leaking pipes, cracked roads blamed for delays

 UPDATED 7:56 PM HST Sep 19, 2013
HONOLULU -

If you live around Kaimuki, or have passed through the area, you've had the headache of driving over some nasty potholes.

City crews finally began a yearlong repaving job along Waialae Avenue in July 2012, after years of complains from nervous drivers and bicyclists.

"People want to ride their bikes, but they don't feel safe," said one bicyclist.

"From the get-go, the project has had numerous issues in regards to traffic," said Honolulu Design and Construction Director Chris Takashige.

He said it may not look like crews have made big progress, but the project included more than a dozen other roads feeding into Waialae.

Takashige said curbs and bus pads are also done, but when crews started ripping up the main corridor, they hit several "soft spots."

"Either a board of water supply line was, I shouldn't say broken, but leaking. Or, the roadway was cracked and maybe some of the rainwater went through the road," he said.

Because they had to dig so deep, crews have to fill in the road by stamping down one layer at a time to make sure those soft spots don't strike again.

"Before, standard construction was pretty much just gravel build up on gravel, compacted, and then we'd put a road way on top of it, but now we have better methods of treating areas beneath the road," said Takashige.

So far, those soft spots have pushed back the completion of the project by a month, to the end of January.

He said work started Wednesday on the next section from Koko Head Avenue toward town.

"We don't know what we're going to hit as we go over this hump behind me, so just be a little more patient with us," he asked the public.

The Board of Water Supply said the city has not notified them of any leaks along Waialae Avenue, but in a statement on Thursday had this to say:

"However, upon hearing of this, the BWS has arranged to send someone out to investigate this situation. If there is a leak, we will take action to address it as soon as we can."
  

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