Saturday, November 28, 2015         


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Concrete shortage delays pad installation at bus stops


It’s an Aloha First Friday, and that means today I reach into my reader mailbag and try to get some questions answered.

If you have any questions regarding traffic or transportation, whether it be pedestrian concerns, potholes or freeways, email me or send me a tweet, and I’ll see if I can get them answered.

QUESTION: I’ve noticed many bus stop sites throughout the city that do not have concrete pads. What’s happened to the program to replace softened, pushed-up and damaged asphalt at city bus stops?

ANSWER: The program is ongoing, and the latest contract has been in effect since October.

The city Department of Transportation Services contracted 808 Underground Utilities to build 30 new concrete bus pads at various locations around the island.

The work began in October and was supposed to be completed May 17, but that has been pushed to the end of July.

“We had a concrete shortage at the beginning of this year, at the start of our project,” says Brandon Kim, project manager with the Public Transit Division at the Transportation Services Department.

The city also had to adjust its plan to control traffic as construction is under way for each of the pads, said Transportation Director Wayne Yoshioka.

That included looking at driveways and how traffic flowed through different times of the day.

“There was no one way we did anything,” Yoshioka said. “It was a custom approach to tailor the traffic control plan to minimize the delay.”

Although the current contract is for only 30 stops out of more than 4,000 around Oahu, the program is ongoing, and contracts are doled out in batches.

“There is a standard design, but the roadways are not standard roadways,” Yoshioka said.

The whole point of the bus pads is to prevent the roads from getting beaten up. When buses accelerate off the stop, it creates pressure on the pavement, damaging the road. The concrete bus pads use reinforcing steel to ensure road stability.

Right now, workers are fixing bus stops in Kaneohe, Yoshioka said.

Q: How long will the rail transit train be stopped to accommodate special passengers to board, like those in wheelchairs?

A: The train car doors will remain open for an average of about 20 seconds for passengers boarding and getting off at each stop, depending on how busy the station is.

“Like elevators, the train car doors will have sensors to ensure the door does not close completely if a person is still in the doorway,” said Scott Ishikawa, spokesman for the city Rapid Transit Division. “A built-in automated safety feature will ensure the train does not move until all the doors are completely closed.”

Gene Park can be reached at or on Twitter as @GenePark.

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