HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After Honolulu ranked among the top of a national report for worst roads in America, Mayor Kirk Caldwell came to the city’s defense Tuesday pointing out the progress made in road repaving so far.
A study by TRIP ranked Honolulu as the fifth state in the nation for large urban areas with roads in poor condition. But Mayor Caldwell doesn’t agree with the ranking saying the study factors in state roads, and doesn’t closely examine city streets and neighborhood roads.
“One of our priorities, our commitments, was to repave our long-neglected city streets. We haven’t deviated from that priority. We ran for re-election on it, and have stayed the course, committing to pave at least 300 lane miles every year, spending about $150 million a year,” Mayor Caldwell said.
Mayor Caldwell says his repaving program has fixed more streets for less money than ever expected.
About 2,000 lane-miles have been paved for about $600 million over the last five years. That’s more than half the streets in the city’s jurisdiction and exceeded Caldwell’s goal to get 1,500 miles repaved.
The Mayor says the city has also attracted more contractors willing to do the work, which significantly lowered the cost per mile.
“The prices remain much lower than we estimate mostly because of competition,” Robert Kroenig, City Construction Director said.
“More people, more bids more, competition so I think in bidding, it’s lowered prices that perhaps would have been higher,” Mayor Caldwell said.
The repaving also means fewer potholes.
When Caldwell took office in 2013, he says the city was filling on average 48,000 potholes a year. Fast forward to 2018 and hundreds of repaved lane miles later, the city is now filling about 16,000 potholes a year on city streets.