HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After another round of heavy showers, Oahu drivers are dodging more potholes again.
Crews were extremely busy after an unusually wet summer, but many of the patches they put down just a couple months ago have already washed away. Drivers and bus riders now face a bumpy ride.
"Today, it was pretty bad. I was riding it and the bus driver actually had to swerve into the other oncoming traffic just to get out of the potholes," said bus rider Roman Lubarsky. "I thought the bus was going to break down at one point."
Crews have patched 45,704 potholes so far this year, based on complaints to a city hotline.
Now the city is testing out a new product aimed at lengthening the life of pothole patches.
"Every time it rains, it comes off so we're looking for better products," said Ed Manglallan, deputy director of the Department of Facility Maintenance.
A demonstration project next week near Waikele Premium Outlets will test pothole repair technology developed by UCLA.
"We have another product from the mainland called BruinPatch, and I think the City Council allotted some funds for us to do research and get better products to fix our roads," said Manglallan.
City officials are also waiting for research results from civil engineering students at the University of Hawaii.
"We are sponsoring their students to come up with different types of materials that we can propose and fix our roads better," Manglallan explained.
The city hopes the better patches save money in the end.
Some 124 drivers filed claims with the city for pothole damage to their vehicles in 2014. According to the latest figures available, the city settled 17 out of 59 claims in 2012, paying out $5,542.
If you would like to report a pothole on a city street, call the hotline at 768-7777.