Kamehameha Hwy. continues to crumble, new stretch in question

logo-khon2-large  By Nestor Garci April 6, 2015

The normally pleasant drive to the North Shore is starting to get people nervous. That’s because there are stretches of highway where pieces of the road are literally falling into the ocean. KHON2 first did this story last October focusing on a section of Kamehameha Highway in Hauula.

Now, viewers have asked us via Report It to look into the problem in Kahana.

“It does concern me,” said Zondre Watson. His chocolate and coffee shop is located just across the road from the damage, under the Crouching Lion.

“I’m not sure what they can do to repair it,” he said. “I see the road crumbling all the time. I see the trucks shaking the road. If the road cracked, it would certainly be a hindrance to my business.

“I’m not sure exactly when it started. I think it was in January,” Watson added, “but it’s not the first time that this has happened, either.”

Last October, the state Department of Transportation told KHON2 that it was working on short-term and long-term solutions for the highway.

Kam Hwy Screenshot FekiState Rep. Feki Pouha, R-North Shore, said he is hoping for a long-term solution, because the short-term fixes are not working.

“We tried a couple of options as you might have seen,” Feki told KHON2. “We’ve tried to build up the sea wall and fill up the roadway to support it, but we have not had the success that we’ve hoped for… This is something that definitely needs more media attention, so we we’re glad for that.”

Initial comment from the state Department of Transportation called for working with the Army Corps of Engineers to deal with the problem.

Residents Have A Voice With West Side Traffic Alert

midweek April 1, 2015  Thinking Different

by Representative Andria Tupola

Traffic is changing our way of life, especially on the Leeward coast.

Because I realize the hardships of families on our coast, my office decided to look for more diverse solutions to alleviate the traffic situation. As commuters, we need commuter, traffic and road efficiency solutions.

The West side is in desperate need of traffic cameras, so that commuters can plan ahead for lane closures or accidents. I have been working with the state Department of Transportation to get cameras installed on the West side, but we need solutions now.

My office has been working with Honolulu City Traffic Management Center to extend the timing of the lights on Farrington Highway. The green light synchronization was set for 3 minutes and 20 seconds from 4 to 6 p.m. starting at the first light in Nanakuli. In February, the lights were changed to the maximum of 4 minutes starting at 3 p.m. and ending at 7:30 p.m., starting from the first light in Nanakuli.

As an immediate remedy, I created the West Side Traffic Alert on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/westsidetrafficalert/

The website has more than 4,156 members as of March 26, who have brought numerous concerns to my attention, which has increased my response to constituents. The conversations from group exchanges of ideas has added depth to the portfolio of various ideas being brought to the table.

The Department of Transportation now has developed a system of notifying me of lane closures and, thanks to the Facebook alert, within a few hours thousands of people are notified and can adjust their driving schedules.

There is no doubt we need greater resolutions, like a secondary access road, bus turnouts and turn lanes.

The development in Kapolei will adversely affect commuters on the West side. I will continue to work with our government departments in developing a breadth and depth of improvements for our commuters.

However, the immediate changes have provided some relief, and I’m excited to continue unveiling more answers as I work with different entities in the state.

Andria with OceanContact state Rep. Andria Tupola, R-District 43 (Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Kahe Point, Nanakuli, Lualualei, Maili) at 586-8465 or reptupola@capitol.hawaii.gov.