HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kirk Caldwell said he was going to get out from behind the desk and go into the public. Potholes are one of the biggest things people complain about so he's taking the complaints about potholes and doing something about it.
Mayor Caldwell scooped and he stomped asphalt on Gulick Avenue in Kalihi. No this isn't going to be a new mayoral duty but he vows to get his crews to fill potholes faster.
"After big rain events we will redistribute current crews, we're not going to expand or hire more people, we'll just move those who are doing routine maintenance to other areas to fill potholes," said Mayor Caldwell. "I made a commitment that my administration would work hard to fill potholes."
"I'm not saying that every pothole will be filled and I'm not saying where we filled won't be potholes again but I think it's the first step. It's what we owe to the public," said Mayor Caldwell.
The city fills about 52,000 potholes a year. However the Mayor knows repaving is better. There is $100 million in the budget for repaving and he would like to spend more money on roads.
"Interest rates are at an all time low. My feeling is we should issue more bonds now. Repave more roads. Create more jobs. Climb out of the recession and enjoy the low interest rates," said Mayor Caldwell. "Potholes, what we fill in does come out again, the real fix is repaving roads and we're going to be doing that in the coming months ramping up road repaving."
Gulick Avenue is on the list to be repaved but it's also in line for sewer work. It doesn't make sense to repave now only to rip it up later so in the meantime it's repair instead of repave.
Some people in the area thanked him. Others offered their own thoughts.
"There's already water and dirt under the new asphalt and when it rains again it is just going to come loose and they have to fill the hole over and over again. They spend all this time filling the same holes over and over again. If they would do it right the first time then they could work on other streets and do it right and they wouldn't have to keep coming back," said Red Rhymers, a repairman in Kalihi. "It's simple logic. Do it right the first time and you don't have to do it over again."
"We cannot focus that much time on any one repair. And while it may be true that some of the potholes we are repairing may be repeats from prior repairs all the while there are new potholes emerging and in order for us to deal with not only the new and the old we have to repair again, we have to get our crews out there in the most efficient most expeditious manner possible," said Ross Sasamura, City Director of Facility Maintenance.
The City of Honolulu does have a pothole complaint hotline. Call 808-768-7777 and leave a message with as much detail as possible.
You can also report potholes on state roads and highways by calling 808-536-7852.
There is also an option to report potholes on the city's website by clicking here.