Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Potholes are
on to-do list
for Likelike

Question: They keep closing Likelike Highway, but I'm wondering, what kind of work are they really doing? When they close the Likelike, why don't they also fix all the potholes? The price of gas is high. We have to take the H-3 freeway, which means using more gas. If you backtrack, you'll see they've been closing the Likelike for a while now, and the potholes are still there.

Answer: According to a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, the potholes are being filled in and will continue to be addressed during resurfacing of both sides of the Likelike.

During the previous two weeks, transportation crews resurfaced the Kalihi side of Likelike, town-bound, at night, and that should have taken care of potholes along that stretch, said Scott Ishikawa.

Meanwhile, the Transportation Department began a $13.8 million project yesterday to upgrade the Wilson Tunnels. The city transferred management and maintenance of the tunnels, which were built in the '50s, to the state in 1998.

The tunnel project, which will go on for more than a year (completion is targeted for May 2005), will involve repairing leaks and cracks, replacing concrete pavement, repairing curbs and ventilation fans and ducts, installing ceramic tile, painting the ceiling, upgrading guardrails and replacing the drainage system.

As part of that project, crews also will widen the shoulders of Kaneohe-bound lanes; install pavement striping, marking and signing; and relocate street lights, traffic signals, duct lines and pull boxes.

To accommodate the tunnel work, the Kaneohe-bound lanes will be closed from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., Sunday evenings to Friday mornings, until early September.

Repaving along Likelike in the Kaneohe-bound direction will be done at night during this time.

At one point during the project, the tunnels will be closed for 30 days in each direction to allow repaving of the tunnel road surface with concrete.

We also asked Ishikawa to respond to a "Kokua Line" complaint about the lack of electronic signs warning motorists traveling on Kamehameha and Kahekili highways of lane closures on the Likelike. He acknowledged the Transportation Department received similar complaints, and said additional portable electronic signs have since been posted.

Five permanent message board signs also will be put up in Kaneohe and Kailua this summer to update drivers about any lane closures, he said.

"These were the signs that were criticized by the Outdoor Circle for being too big," he said. "Three of the five signs have since been reduced by half (their) original size and were given the stamp of approval by the Outdoor Circle and the area neighborhood boards."


To the teenage kids who were throwing stones at the Kapolei High School special-education bus at 1:15 p.m. Friday, March 12. My son rides that bus, and someone could have been seriously hurt. A society is judged on the way they treat the people that are less fortunate. You have shamed your family and community. -- Roger Y., Kapolei


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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