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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  March 30, 2005

Release No. M-25

 

MAYOR REPORTS PROGRESS  IN HIS WAR ON POTHOLES

 

            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today said his administration is planning more than $70 million in its  campaign to repair Oahu’s roads over the next year.

 

 “I am pleased to report that after less than three months in office, we are making significant progress in our war on potholes,” said Hannemann.

 

The effort includes several innovations and departures from past city practices and policies aimed at making the going smoother for the motoring public.

 

The City Department of Facility Maintenance and Department of Design and Construction are leading a four-pronged program:

 

FILLING POTHOLES:

 

        The Road Maintenance Division of DFM has stepped up its efforts, filling more than 6,300 potholes in February alone, compared to 4,900 in February 2004. The division has been understaffed for years, with a 30 percent vacancy current rate, but the workers have stepped up their efforts. They also are spending less time on other duties such as supporting Brunch and Sunset on the Beach events. The aim is to fix potholes within a week of their being reported.

 

 The Department of Information Technology has set up a new internal system for handing pothole complaints to the City. In addition, as of today, the department has established a new website for reporting potholes, www.honolulu.gov/csd/pothole.htm  You can also reach that from the city government website, www.honolulu.gov/menu/government Simply fill out the form and submit it.

 

The public can still report potholes by telephone, to the existing pothole number, 527-6006. Even those calls will be handled more efficiently in-house, using an audio e-mail file.

 

SKINCOAT FIRST AID/BLOCK PATCH

 

  The Department of Facilities Maintenance has budgeted $938,000 to cover roads or patches of roads with a layer of asphalt  ¾-inch to one inch thick.

 

Since January, this temporary fix has already been applied to Lunalilo Home Road, Moanalua Road between Pali Momi Street and Kaahumanu Avenue and Makuahine Street in Kalihi.

 

 In addition to filling potholes, the City’s Road Maintenance Division will perform the first aid work on spots all over Oahu, said Facility Maintenance Director Laverne Higa.

 

LOCALIZED REHABILITATION

 

 This is a new intitiative devised by the Department of Design and Construction to reconstruct secondary roads quickly. Work is scheduled to begin this summer on streets in Waimalu and Waipahu.

 

Instead of expensive and time-consuming engineering and design work that would be required for work on major arteries, localized rehabilitation aims to “get maximum asphalt on the ground,” said Alfred Tanaka, construction manager for the Department of Design and Construction.

 

To that end, the department has come up with a unit-price contract plan that would minimize processing time for bidders and the city. Contractors would perform the work, removing old stretches of failed asphalt and then applying a new asphalt-treated base topped by a layer of asphalt.  

 

About $8 million has been budgeted for this new effort, enough to redo about 50 to 60 lane miles.  Design and management costs will be held to less than 5 percent of the project total, instead of the usual 12 to 15 percent.

 

MAJOR REHABILITATION/RECONSTRUCTION

 

The Hannemann administration plans to spend $40 million budgeted for the current fiscal year (including localized rehabilitation) and is budgeting another $30 million next fiscal year for road rehabilitation. Major reconstruction involves heavily used arteries, such as the project currently underway on Piikoi Street between King Street and the H-1 Freeway.

 

By their nature, these projects require lane closures, formal traffic design plans and other engineering work. As the mayor said in his State of the City address, the administration’s  plans call for major reconstruction of Waimano Home Road and Makakilo Drive; Waialua Beach Road and Pupukea Road on the North Shore and Lumiaina Street and Paiwa Street in Waipahu. Those are just the first projects in the pipeline, said Design and Construction Director Wayne Hashiro, who plans to let contracts for many more reconstruction projects all over Oahu.

 

Mayor Hannemann said, “We have budgeted one million dollars for pothole filling and first aid skin coating and another $70 million for localized and major rehabilitation. Based on what we have done and what our plans are, we are off to a good start.

 

“I want to thank the members of the state House who included in their budget bill an additional $4 million for Honolulu to use for road repairs,” Hannemann added. “We hope the Senate and the governor will support this funding request. I can assure all of them that we will put that money to good use.”

 

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For more information, contact:

            Laverne Higa, Director of Facility Maintenance, 692-5054

            Wayne Hashiro, Director of Design and Construction, 527-4564

            Gordon Bruce, Director of Information Technology, 547-7601

 

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

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