Ewa Beach roadwork picking up steam
Early this year, it was announced by the state that at least three of the intolerable traffic woes of Ewa Beach were miraculously on "fast tracks." They were fast-tracking the widening of Fort Weaver Road; fast-tracking the connection of the two ends of Kapolei Parkway; and fast-tracking the north-south connection to the H-1 Freeway. Now, approximately six months after that announcement, none of us in Ewa Beach has seen a single shovelful of dirt moved on any of these projects. What does fast-track mean? Will they tell us when construction on each of these projects will begin? More importantly, when will each of them be completed?
Answer: The state Department of Transportation is overseeing two of the projects -- widening of Fort Weaver Road and building the North-South Road connection to the H-1 -- while the Kapolei Parkway extension is a city project.
All phases of each project won't be completed until at least 2009.
Phase II of the Fort Weaver Road project -- adding one lane in each director of Fort Weaver, between Aawa Drive and Geiger Road -- is scheduled to begin tomorrow.
The start of construction was delayed two months because of a design change to the proposed drainage system and finalizing a right-of-entry agreement with a private landowner, said DOT spokesman Scott Ishikawa.
Phase II is expected to be completed in mid-2009 at a cost of nearly $60 million. Eighty percent of that will be paid with federal funds, Ishikawa said.
Motorists will be updated on roadwork and lane closures through the news media as well as on the DOT Web site -- www.hawaii.gov/dot/publicaffairs/roadwork, he said.
Phase I of the project, which widened Fort Weaver from four to six lanes between Farrington Highway and Aawa Drive, was completed in August 2006.
Construction of Phase 1A of the North-South Road, which consists of four lanes between Kapolei Parkway and Farrington Highway, is "substantially complete," Ishikawa said. It included drainage, electrical, curb and sidewalk improvements.
"Contrary" to your observation, Ishikawa said, about 930,000 cubic yards of dirt were excavated for this phase alone.
Meanwhile, a contract for Phase 1B of the project was awarded on Sept. 13. The project will connect the new road with Kapolei Parkway and Farrington Highway, and involve bridge-crossing structures, intersection improvements and water, sewer and drainage infrastructure.
Phase 1B is targeted for completion in August 2009.
The contractor for Phase 1C, which involves constructing a new interchange on the H-1 freeway and making the final connection with Farrington Highway, was given a "notice to proceed" on Sept. 17.
Completion of Phase 1C is scheduled for late 2009.
Ishikawa said that "fast-track" refers to a project receiving "priority attention, often due to immediate public need. It does not, however, mean that the finished product will be built overnight."
He said two community meetings have been held during the past four months on the projects, with periodic updates given at area neighborhood board meetings.
If you would like more information, call the DOT's Public Affairs Office at 587-2160.
As for the Kapolei Parkway extension, the city project involves building a six-lane divided roadway, connecting the existing Kapolei Parkway near the OR&L railroad tracks to the state's North-South Road.
According to the city Department of Design and Construction, the project has three phases:
» Phase 8A was completed and opened to traffic in August 2006. It involved the makai half of the roadway from Renton Road to vicinity of the OR&L tracks.
» Albert C. Kobayashi Inc. was awarded the $15.465 million Phase 8B contract to build six lanes, three in each direction, plus a median, from Renton Road to the state's North-South Road. A "notice to proceed" is projected to be given early next year, with construction expected to take 12 months.
» Phase 8C of the project is scheduled to be advertised for bids in November, with a construction contract awarded by the end of the year. If so, construction could start as early as the second quarter of 2008, with construction time estimated at nine months. Phase 8C involves work on the mauka half of Kapolei Parkway, from Renton Road to the vicinity of the OR&L tracks.
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