Hawaii's infrastructure ranked worst in nation, report says - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii's infrastructure ranked worst in nation, report says

(Image: Hawaii News Now/file) (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Hawaii’s infrastructure is the worst in the nation, a new report says.

The report – compiled by the financial news and commentary website 24/7 Wall St. – says 29 percent of the state’s roads are in poor condition, the fifth highest in the nation. Highway funding as a percentage of the total government spending is only 4.5 percent, the 10th lowest.

The report says nearly 6 percent of Hawaii roads have been deemed deficient.

According to the study, vehicle repairs, fuel and wasted time cost drivers an estimated $272 billion nationwide in 2014.

But where Hawaii ranked the worst: The state’s dams pose the highest hazard risk at 93.2 percent.

There are 134 dams statewide, but the most recognized is the Ka Loko Dam, which breached on Kauai's North Shore in 2006, killing seven people and an unborn child.

James Pflueger pleaded no contest to felony reckless endangerment in 2013 in a plea deal with the state, which accused him of filling in a concrete spillway that was supposed to prevent the Ka Loko Reservoir from overfilling -- ultimately, leading to the breach.

It's these deaths that were factored into Hawaii's infrastructure score that lead to the highest hazard risk rating for dams in the nation.

To identify the states with the worst infrastructure, 24/7 Wall St. created an index examining roadways in poor condition and bridges that are considered structurally deficient, which came from a Federal Highway Administration's report in 2015.

Dams classified as high hazard potential came from the National Inventory of Dams, a database maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Highway spending as a share of total government spending was determined by the 2015 U.S. Census Bureau.

Hawaii News Now reached out to the state Department of Transportation and is still awaiting further comment.

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