Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration has met its goal of paving at least 300 lane miles of dilapidated roads annually throughout Oahu for the second year in a row.
In 2014, the city’s Department of Design and Construction paved 305 lane miles, Caldwell announced at a press conference on Meheula Parkway in Mililani on Tuesday.
Last year, the city completed projects totaling 398 lane miles, though a number of those contracts began prior to the start of 2013, according to city data. For instance, a $52 million contract for 232 lane miles began in 2009 and was completed in April 2013.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
The island-wide road repaving project is part of a five-year plan announced by Caldwell when he took office in January 2013 to repave 1,500 lane miles of crumbling roads, or 43 percent of roads owned by the city.
The city has so far completed $171 million in road projects since January 2013 and has another $139 million in projects underway. Caldwell said he planned to ask the City Council for another $100 million for road repaving in March when he submits his proposed fiscal year 2016 budget.
“We’re not stopping,” said Caldwell. “It’s going to get harder now, because the streets that remain, some are shorter, they’re littler streets, we do have to do (significant) construction, like on Beretenia (Street). So it’s going to be harder to meet those goals, but we are going to push as hard as we can.”
Mayor Kirk Caldwell conducts a press conference Anania Street and Meheula Parkway in Mililani on Tuesday.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
Some of the more difficult projects next year include roads in Kaneohe, where it rains a lot, and side roads off of Kamehameha Highway on the North Shore, said Darrel Goo, a vice president for Grace Pacific, one of the city’s contractors. The North Shore project, running from Kaaawa to Haleiwa, could add to the congestion along Kamehameha Highway, particularly on the weekends when tourists and locals flock to the beaches.
Oahu’s roads fell into disrepair because of decades of neglect, compounded by the island’s high traffic density, said Caldwell.
A 2013 report by TRIP, a national transportation research agency, ranked Honolulu-area roads among the worst in the nation, costing drivers about $600 a year in auto repair and value depreciation.
Caldwell said that in addition to major repaving efforts, the city is also employing road maintenance techniques. This includes coating asphalt with a “slurry seal” designed to extend the life of roads that are in good condition, and patching potholes.
This year, the city’s Department of Facility Maintenance filled 36,811 potholes, according to city data.
A list of completed and upcoming road repaving projects can be found here.
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