Study finds Honolulu roads are still bad, but improving

Study finds Honolulu roads are still bad, but improving

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Nearly half of Honolulu's roads are in bad shape. That's according to a new national study but there is hope the roads will be much better by the time the next report comes out.

The City is repaving 1,500 miles over five years which drivers should feel in the ride and the wallet.

The last time we saw Julia Price's family six months ago they were jumping on the bus because a pothole busted both her driver side tires and rims on her 2002 Audi. Now fast forward to today.

"I got the two tires replaced and got my car back," said Julia Price, of Hawaii Kai.

She's back on the road and it's a much nicer road too. Lunalilo Home Road where the monster potholes were is now being repaved.

"I noticed after what happened to me, I'm not sure if it has anything to do with it, they started repaving Lunalilo starting at the mountain side and they're working their way up and it looks like they are doing a good job," said Price.

It's much needed too. A new study by Trip, a national research group, found 43 percent of Honolulu's roads are in bad shape and drivers pay nearly $600 extra in repairs because of the ravaged roads.

"I think the most critical finding in the report is that it's a lot cheaper to pay for roads in good condition than to pay for the consequences of driving on roads in poor condition," said Frank Moretti, TRIP Director Policy and Research.

"We're not surprised, that's why the mayor made it one of his priorities," said Mark Yonamine, Honolulu Department of Design and Construction Deputy Director.

Here's the positive spin, Honolulu ranked even worse in the last study and the current numbers are only from 2011. So it doesn't include the 1,500 miles of repaving going on now or all the improvements the state is doing as well.

"Hopefully we'll keep moving down the list. As things progress maybe the next report we'll be 25th. We know it's a problem, we hear the complaints so we are definitely going to move down the list," said Yonamine.

It may be one of the few polls the politicians would be happy to drop in.

The road repairs pay off too. Trip says for every dollar invested in roads by the government drivers save $5. The city is spending $120 million this year alone.