Oahu has a new joint traffic management center. Finally.

State, local and federal officials unveiled the new facility, dubbed “Hoku Paa” (“Immovable Star”), at a dedication ceremony Thursday.

The 57,000 square-foot building at the corner of King and Alapai streets will house various federal, state and city agencies, including their transportation, police, fire and medical emergency personnel.

Joint Traffic Management Center computer screens overview.
Local officials unveiled Oahu’s Hoku Paa joint traffic management center on Thursday. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

The goal, officials say, is to bring these agencies into the same room in order to better handle traffic issues across the island. The $53.6 million facility features a sweeping, open floor plan and large overhead traffic screens.

The federal government is slated to cover nearly $38 million of the total, with the city covering the rest.

Local leaders had originally hoped to open the facility in June 2017, but the city encountered what it said were construction problems with the original contractor, Watts Construction LLC, and eventually filed a notice of default in February 2018.

Watts’ parent company reached a deal with the city several months after the default to resume construction.

“This project was on life support,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said Thursday. “We’re on budget, but we’re not on time. We’re three years off of time, but the good news is that we’re here today.”

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