Aggressive road repaving plan announced

Updated: Feb. 25, 2013 at 8:40 PM HST
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Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell
Darrell Goo
Darrell Goo

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has announced an aggressive plan to repave almost half of the city's roads in the next five years.

This stretch of Mokauea Street between Dillingham and King Streets is on the list to be repaved this year.  It's one of the thousands of streets to get work done and it's not just filling potholes but repaving the road.

Bad roads aren't hard to find.  Last year the city surveyed all its streets.  It found that 43 percent of the streets were degraded or unsatisfactory.  That's 1,525 miles of bad road.  The city will repave all of them.  On average it's about 305 miles per year for five years at a cost of $150 million a year.

"It's the largest sum of money we've ever committed in the history of the city and county of Honolulu to road repaving. While it's not sexy, it's not glamorous. It is what cities do to make life good in the community such as this neighborhood here," said Kirk Caldwell, Honolulu Mayor.

The money is coming from bonds.  Mayor Caldwell says he's taking advantage of low interest rates.

"I believe when bond rates are low it's the time to ramp it up. You get more bucks for the dollar spent, more roads repaved for the dollar spent at a time when we're in a recovery," said Mayor Caldwell.

The City Council still has to approve the budget. According to some members the $150 million a year for repaving is doable.

"That is twice what it was just two years ago and just 10 years ago the amount that was allocated for roads was just five million," said Stanley Chang, Honolulu City Councilmember.

Contractors can repave about a mile per week.  While construction is going on traffic and parking will be impacted.

"So I just ask for patience. For people on this street as the road is repaved it is a little bit humbug but I can promise you once it's done they're happy," said Mayor Caldwell.

Construction workers are also happy because the smell of asphalt means dozen of new jobs.

"For those of us in the road building business this is heaven sent for all of us," said Darrell Goo, Grace Pacific Corporation Senior Vice President.

The city has posted all the streets to be repaved online. To see if your street is on the list click here.

Keep in mind this is just city roads.  It does not include any state highways.

To review the results from the City's survey on roads click here.

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