Investigation of asphalt storage tank fire may begin soon
Last week's fire threatens the supply of material used to repair isle roads
Tesoro Hawaii officials expect it to be at least one more day before investigators can get inside the company's lone liquid asphalt storage tank at Campbell Industrial Park and determine what caused a fire in the container last week.
The extent of the damage cannot be determined until investigators can get inside the tank, which is being drained of its existing supply, said Nathan Hokama, a spokesman for Tesoro in Hawaii.
Hokama said the company expects to have a better idea tomorrow on when the investigation can begin into the fire that broke out last Tuesday afternoon. The fire occurred less than a week after the company restarted production of liquid asphalt, threatening the state's supply of the material that is used to repair isle roads.
Hokama said Tesoro is continuing to distribute asphalt from the tank to its regular customers, noting that the container was "pretty full prior to the incident."
Recognizing the limited supply, the state has made it a priority to work on one of the three taxiways at Honolulu Airport, which need repairs, Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa said.
"With the increase in summer travel, we are looking at more planes coming in at the airport," Ishikawa said. "To have one of our taxiways out takes a little more time for arrivals and departures."
While there is enough asphalt for some projects, others, such as improvements to Farrington Highway, are being put on hold until next month, he said.
For other projects, the state is asking contractors to perform as much non-asphalt-related work as possible until Tesoro has a better idea on how the fire damage will affect production, he said.