Two-Year Pothole Repair Project Starting

Scott Ishikawa
Scott Ishikawa

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The first phase of a two-year project on the H-1 Airport viaduct starts Tuesday night. The $9-million project takes aim at potholes along a nearly 3-mile stretch, between Valkenburgh and Middle streets during the overnight hours.

Transportation officials say they're choosing to do the work at that time to minimize the effect on traffic in that area. If it seems like crews are always out working on smoothing out our roads -- you're right. Transportation officials say this is all part of maintaining the streets.

Crews already repaved Nimitz Highway from Downtown to Kalihi. They're scheduled to tackle Ala Moana Boulevard in about a month. This airport repaving is just the next piece in the puzzle.

Like divots on a fairway, black patches scatter the H-1 viaduct. But they'll be disappearing soon. Road crews from the state Department of Transportation starts work replacing the asphalt patches with concrete ones.

"Up to now, you can see we've been putting asphalt into the concrete potholes as a temporary patch, but this is more of a permanent solution," said DOT spokesman Scott Ishikawa.

"On a scale of one to ten, i'd give it a four," said Chris McCallum. "It's not that bad. The traffic is worse."

But the work will take some time -- about two years. That's because work is being done on some Sundays and overnight -- from 8:00 PM to 4:30 AM -- to minimize the effect on traffic, and beat the morning traffic rush.

"I'm glad they're doing it nights, so we don't have to have that traffic jam in the morning," said Chad Kagawa.

During work, the speed limit here will be lowered from 55 to 15 miles an hour. That'll cut down on the vibration on the roads, which will allow the concrete patches to cure. But one good thing, is this isn't the only route heading that way.

"We have Nimitz Highway under the viaduct that people can use as a detour route," said Ishikawa. "We also have Moanalua Freeway, so there are a couple ways to get around the construction area which is a good thing."

And so is a smooth road.

Roadwork starts Tuesday night on the Keehi Lagoon side of Nimitz Highway. Crews aren't expected to reach the viaduct itself for about a month.