North King Street focus of $8M repaving, pedestrian safety project

North King Street focus of $8M repaving, pedestrian safety project

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - As a key urban corridor connecting Kalihi to downtown Honolulu, North King Street carries a constant flow of cars during the day.

And next September, the thoroughfare will undergo a major $8 million resurfacing and rehabilitation project. Work will include repaving, and restriping to make the four traffic lanes narrower in order to slow vehicles to the 25 mph speed limit.

The project will cover two miles, from Ola Lane on one end to Peterson Lane on the other.

"The condition of the road is in bad shape. It needs rehabilitation," said Robert Kroning, director of the city's Design and Construction Department.

"We are trying to slow the traffic down, slow the motorists down, make even better avenues of sight so that pedestrians and bicyclists are seen better and they can see vehicles better."

In 2014, three pedestrians were fatally struck on North King Street.

To improve pedestrian safety, a flashing light will be put in at Richard Lane to alert drivers that someone's crossing. Also, medians will be installed so people can cross lanes going in one direction, and pause before crossing lanes going in the other direction. Finally, some crosswalks will be relocated.

"Some will be removed. Others will be put at different angles," Kroning said.

A large section of North King runs through a busy business corridor.

"You should come and take a look during the busy hours," Kalihi-Palama Neighborhood Board member Tom Enos said. "Whatever they can do to dampen the effect that it'll have on businesses and people that traverse in this area will be helpful."

Contractors will keep entrances to businesses clear and take other steps to minimize slowdowns, but there will be lane closures.

"We require the contractors to only work between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. So that gets us out of the rush hour," Kroning said.

Also planned are the building of curb ramps to accomodate people with wheelchairs or walkers.

The project is part of the city's Complete Streets package and fits within Mayor Kirk Caldwell's pledge to repave 1,500 lane miles.

So far 1,180 have been completed.

The North King Street job will go out to bid in January.

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