HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Good news, Honolulu drivers: Repaving work along Beretania Street is nearly complete, and city officials say if the weather holds up it could all be done by mid-April.
"We are happy the contractor is making very quick progress," said city spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke. "They do still need to come back and do curbs and gutters and lane striping but that won't require closing as many lanes."
The repaving project has been a major traffic nightmare for Honolulu commuters. The repaving on Beretania Street from University Avenue to Alapai Street happens weekdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is also weekend work.
On Thursday, it appeared that much of the repaving work was complete.
Beretania Street, one of Honolulu's busiest thoroughfares, was "in terrible shape" before the project, Broder Van Dyke said.
The current makeover, though, is only temporary.
In a few years, the city plans to come back and conduct a more longlasting "full depth reconstruction" of the roadway. That was originally what the city had wanted to do, but the plan was put on hold after crews discovered a number of shallow and undocumented utility lines.
"It will take the utilities several years to plan, design and physically relocate the lines," Broder Van Dyke said. "Beretania Street was/is in terrible condition, so the option of waiting several more years was not a good one.
The city's decision to move ahead with a "shallow" repaving project shaved about $1 million of the project's pricetag.
But the reconstruction in several years is expected to cost an additional $10 million.
"Under the new plan, the utilities have been put on notice that they need to prepare now to relocate," he said. "Then, all the utilities will do their construction and dig up the road around the fifth year, right before the full depth reconstruction occurs."
The Beretania Street repaving project was a major milestone in the city's efforts to repave 1,500 Oahu lane miles in five years. Since 2013, when the goal was announced, some 1,000 lane miles of roadway on Oahu have been repaved.
UPCOMING REPAVING PROJECTS: