A Riverbed of Patches Upon Patches – to Be Repaved

Adverse road conditions to be repaved over! Asphalt concrete or Portland cement concrete?

In the video, made Saturday on Saint Patrick’s Day, early AM 3/17/2007, it shows a very bad piece of road on Ala Moana Boulevard in the Kaka’ako district of Honolulu, Hawai’i. The second scene of the video is Kewalo Basin at Ala Moana Boulevard and Ward Avenue.

Good news! This video was filmed right immediately before this piece of bad road is scheduled to be repaved in 2007.

In the March 22, 2007 edition of the Honolulu Advertiser, ‘bureaucracy buster’ Robbie Dingeman wrote “Both the state and city have been adopting a newer nationwide philosophy that include taking better care of newer roads so they don’t end up in such bad condition.”

Yes, extend life cycle of asphalt pavements through proper maintenance and repair but don’t create a separate class of second-class roads. I called the department of transportation of Hawai’i about this article and asked “What about triage?” Triage is a system used to allocate a scarce commodity.

Limited resources with a never-ending upkeep in road maintenance means that triage must still be used in road repair priorities. I spoke specifically about downtown Honolulu, where Nimitz turns into Ala Moana near CompUSA. The friendly representative said that planned work for 2007, has already begun, and will continue to Punchbowl within a week.

Driving towards Diamond Head from where Nimitz turns into Ala Moana, the road conditions are bad to the point of becoming a negligent litigation suit waiting to happen. Litigation and risk management is part of the triage process in road maintenance and the Hawai’i department of transportation does the very utmost possible with the resources allocated. Building a short life span type of road that will need constant maintenance should not be made. Heavy trucks traveling over sandy and soft soil requires a concrete section.

Most of Honolulu’s bus stops have a section of concrete in the bus lane. A concrete roadbed is required because of the repeated braking at the same spot over time warps the tar of the asphalt. This particular bus stop at the Forrest Avenue intersection is also the same corner where massive eighteen-wheelers turn right.

Even at higher initial costs, a concrete roadbed should be built at this section of the road. Although pouring cement causes more traffic woes to construct, due to the required days for the cement to ‘set, in the long run, a series of “Band-Aid” fixes at a catch-up rate will cost more than would a long-lasting concrete section. Concrete slabs carry the weight of the vehicle load without rutting.

Budgets should not be so shortsighted with building at the lowest cost without considering upkeep for the next 50 years -lest Honolulu makes the same wasteful mistake such as the multi-million dollar swimming pool in Makiki, yet no budget for lifeguards and so it remains mostly closed.

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