State leader calls on city to widen dangerous S-curve in Kalihi Street

State leader calls on city to widen dangerous S-curve in Kalihi Street

KALIHI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - One state lawmaker is calling on the city to use funds to address a dangerous curve in a Kalihi street.

"This is the most dangerous area, right along here where those two cars are," state Rep. John Mizuno said, pointing to a winding portion of the road in the 3000 block of Kalihi Street.

The section is narrow and forms a blind, or S-curve. Drivers often cross the center line.

"That S-Curve is too narrow for big buses or vehicles to go through, so the S-Curve is really bad for the drivers," he said.

Mizuno secured $1 million in state money to widen the section, but the street is under city control. So he wants the city to widen the road. But Deputy Director of Transportation Services Jon Nouchi said city records show only a few minor accidents over a long period of time.

Rather than widen the curve, the city posted posted signs limiting speed to 20 miles per hour.

"We really are trying to slow down the speed on the road. To widen the lanes would be counter-intuitive to that," Nouchi said.

The city also installed street reflectors and signs warning of the sharp turn.

But Mizuno thinks the city isn't listening to residents' complaints that date back 30 years, and time's running out on the state money.

If the city doesn't match the million by June, it goes away.

"If they take the logical route and they do the minor fixes, and just open up the edges so it's not so sharp, we can do this under $2 million, and it'll be a great deal," Mizuno said.

But Nouchi said the cost would far exceed $2 million because of land acquisition and costly environmental studies.

"There are multiple environmental concerns, given that there is a stream situated right next to it," Nouchi said.

The city will be watching how drivers respond to the new measures on the S-Curve for the next six months, then decide to take other steps if necessary.

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