Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Farrington Highway
project should be
a smooth drive

Question: I am curious about whether there is any quality control for the pavement patching left behind by the Board of Water Supply. The Nanakuli and Maili stretch of Farrington Highway was paved not too long ago. It seems as though as soon as it was completed, the Board of Water Supply had to come through and do extensive work. Unfortunately, the rough road left behind makes driving from Mohihi Street out toward Maili extremely unpleasant. Contrast that work to the patchwork done by the Hawaiian Dredging Co. after a recent fiber cable installation between Keaau and Yokohama beaches. Their patch areas are identifiable only by the difference in pavement color -- not by the roughness of the road. Since there is evidence that smooth patching is possible, can someone please hold the Board of Water Supply pavers responsible for the same level of quality?

Answer: If you believe repaving after completion of a project is not satisfactory, you should contact the Board of Water Supply.

Contractors doing work for the BWS are supposed to restore a roadway "to previous or better condition" once a project is completed, said BWS spokeswoman Denise DeCosta.

Based on your complaint, the BWS has asked the contractor doing current work in the area to install a new pipe "to do the best he can to improve the temporary patches he places on the roadway each day before reopening lanes to traffic," she said.

However, there is no standard for the condition of temporary patches, she said.

Motorists are going to have to endure a lot more work on Farrington Highway, with a series of projects scheduled to improve water service along the Waianae Coast.

"We are very sympathetic with motorists and residents affected by the construction project, and appreciate their patience as we work to improve water service to their community," DeCosta said.

She noted that repaving has begun on the section recently completed at Makaha and another project is scheduled to begin soon in an area just north of Makaha (toward Makua). A third project is scheduled to replace a "troublesome" 24-inch main leading from the Barbers Point Reservoir toward Honokai Hale, "which has been plagued with chronic water main breaks over the past 10 years," DeCosta said.

That said, she explained that all construction affecting a state road like Farrington Highway in Nanakuli requires the approval of the state Department of Transportation.

The DOT generally does not allow any new construction work on a newly repaved roadway, requiring a two-year waiting period before the road can be dug up, she said.

The last time Farrington Highway was repaved by the DOT was 1997 or 1998, she said.

The BWS water main project near Nanaikapono School was begun "just recently." It will take about a year, sometime in May 2004, to be completed.

It may have seemed like the road was dug up not too long ago, but DeCosta said it was probably much earlier.

One explanation: "Water main breaks have recently occurred in this area, and some repaving could have been done by our contractor as a temporary measure until the new pipe could be installed," DeCosta said.

As for the current patchwork, she said the contractor has been asked "to do what he can to improve the patches placed over construction areas" when he shuts down each day. Work is done at night, at the request of area residents, DeCosta noted, and must be closed down before the early-morning rush hour.

"Generally, this soft asphalt material wears well and should allow vehicles to run smoothly over the construction section of the road," she said. "Sometimes patch materials are affected by weather conditions."

Q: There is a crosswalk on Punchbowl Street, between King and Beretania. Why is the light for the crossswalk not pedestrian-initiated? The light turns red for motorists when no one wants to cross the street, thereby stopping traffic needlessly. Can that be rectified?

A: The city Department of Transportation Services says its Traffic Signals and Technology Division checked the light and found it is pedestrian-activated and working properly.

What happens sometimes is that pedestrians activate the cross button, then cross before the walk signal comes on, according to DTS Director Cheryl Soon.

Most signalized intersections are pedestrian-activated to provide an efficient signal, she said.

If anyone finds a broken pedestrian button, call the Traffic Signals' field operations office at 564-6101.


To Beth, for helping me when I tripped and fell on the sidewalk. I must have been so shook-up that I did not thank you properly. Thanks again from this 82-year-old lady. -- Fukuda


To radio station owners who don't realize how popular country music is, even in Hawaii. I can't believe there are no FM country music stations on Oahu. With the large military population here, I would think the demand would be high enough for one. -- Danny Barlow


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