Kokua Line

Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Wednesday, April 14, 1999

Guardrails last
piece of Pali puzzle

Question: Why is it taking so long for the Kailua-bound, right-hand lane of the Pali Highway to be completed? It's been paved but coned off for months. It's baffling. Why is it taking so long?

Answer: More guardrails need to be installed.

But the end is in sight: The new "reconstructed" lane will be opened to traffic May 7 at the latest, said state highways administrator Pericles Manthos. If the weather cooperates and work goes smoothly, "we're hoping to beat that by a week," he said.

In January, when we last fielded a similar question, noise restrictions, which limited work hours, and project modifications were blamed for causing the resurfacing work to be delayed five months - from October 1998 to March.

This time, "we have to have additional guardrails," Manthos said. "During construction, we cleared areas and there are more drops than we anticipated. There are areas there that have been choked off by hau (trees) for years."

Also, the state in the past month adopted new federal standards for guardrails, which means installing 200 linear feet more than originally planned, he said. The guardrail work will take 12 working days to complete, once the contractor begins shortly, Manthos said.

"We don't want to open the highway up when the right lane doesn't meet safety standards," he said, noting that there are still some exposed areas of concrete where anchors for the guardrails will be embedded.

Also, once the lane is reopened, lane lines have to be restriped by Old Pali Road because now, "that third lane on the Pali is a right-turn only. Once we change that striping, it will cause all this merging to occur, when people are going uphill, which is not where you want them to merge."

The total cost of the resurfacing project - on both sides of the Pali Highway between the tunnels and Country Club Road - plus work on roads going to the Pali Lookout, is $6 million, Manthos said.

The current work involved reconstructing the shoulder lane, which had been paved over, but was "deteriorating badly," Manthos said. "So we tore off the whole shoulder and replaced it."

The road also suffered from drainage problems, causing the asphalt to "pop out," he said. So subdrainage was installed. "That was why the job was so difficult going toward the windward side."

"There will always be roadwork" and routine maintenance, he said, when asked if it will be clear driving on the Pali for a while. But, "we won't be doing any resurfacing for a while. . . . There shouldn't be anything major on the Pali for several years."

Q: What is the name of the water park being built in Kapolei? Can I get information through the e-mail on what job openings they have?

A: The $14 million Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park is scheduled to open in late May in Kapolei.

Don't hold your breath on getting a job there, although you are welcomed to submit an application, a spokeswoman said. About 4,000 people attended two job fairs in March to apply for 25 supervisory positions and about 500 seasonal and part-time entry-level positions.

The park's Web site is http://www.hawaiianwaters.com.


To Gary Pahia of PWC Pearl Harbor who fixed our car's flat tire near the Arizona Memorial on March 17. May you be blessed one day for your good deed. - Two grateful ladies.

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to kokualine@starbulletin.com

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