H-1 project sandblasting nearing end
I live below the H-1 Waimalu widening project. For more than a month, we have been hearing what sounds like loud sanding or drilling both day and night, disrupting sleep at night. What goes on?
Answer: The noise from workers grinding off an inch of the top layer of the freeway apparently has your whole neighborhood up in arms. But the racket might end by the end of this week.
State Department of Transportation officials attended a community meeting Thursday to update residents about the widening project -- and the noise -- as well as about other transportation issues, said spokesman Scott Ishikawa.
Removing the top layer will allow the department to lay down and test five types of concrete material to see which one holds up best.
"We will use that data when we fill in the potholes with concrete along the H-1 airport viaduct later this year, and the H-1 Aiea/Pearl City viaduct, possibly next year," Ishikawa said.
He said the Transportation Department did a similar test of three types of asphalt along a 5-mile stretch of Moanalua Freeway in an ongoing study to see which ones hold up best and provide the smoothest ride.
As for the noise, Ishikawa said residents were informed the concrete removal would continue for another week or so, depending on the weather.
However, workers have switched methods of removing the concrete, "using a technique called hydro-blasting that involves high-pressure water (which) can be done during rainy weather."
It's supposed to be quieter than the previous method, which involved using a machine that blasted metal pellets at the concrete surface, Ishikawa said.
Because of the rain, six weekends of work, as well as many weekdays, have been lost. That means the $55 million widening project, which was supposed to have been completed this month, is now targeted for completion at the end of June.
"We need the weekends to pour concrete along the widened, unpaved portion of the freeway since it takes three days for the concrete to cure (Friday night to early Monday morning), and we close existing H-1 lanes for the work," Ishikawa said.
Q: Why is it that on the new lane addition on the H-1 in Pearl City, the contractor has removed big chunks of concrete recently placed for the new roadway? Why did they have to re-cut the pavement again?
A: The Department of Transportation felt 11 new drainage inlets installed along the new portion of the freeway did not have "adequate steel for reinforcement," Ishikawa said.
The contractor, Kiewit Pacific Co., was told to replace the drainage inlets at its own cost, he said.
It is time we followed California's lead and banned the use of leaf blowers in Honolulu's residential areas. Noise pollution from those things is gosh-awful. And, what's wrong with just using rakes or brooms to do the job? -- Anita Ching
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