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H-1 roadwork near 6th Avenue is to preserve life of concrete

By June Watanabe

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 03:58 a.m. HST, Mar 29, 2011



Question: What is the purpose of the roadwork and all those new cement patches along the H-1 freeway, Koko Head-bound, near the 6th Avenue offramp That area always caused a bucking motion of my car; now it is worse, and the pavement is like a washboard.

Question: On a recent Saturday we were backed up in traffic on the H-1 eastbound. The freeway was closed to two lanes after the Kapiolani onramp. They were gouging the lanes, seeming to fill these gouges with something, then covering the area with a square piece of canvas. What are they trying to accomplish when the road looked perfectly fine

Answer: The work being done on weekends and weeknights is part of a “pavement preservation project” aimed at extending the life of the existing concrete, said a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

He pointed out that this segment, from 1st Avenue to Koko Head Avenue, was the first section of the freeway to be constructed. It was completed in June 1965.

The project involves reinforcing pavement joints between concrete slabs with steel dowel rods, 18 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter, to allow them to better withstand the constant weight and force of passing vehicles and to help keep future surface faults from forming.

Cracks, faults and “washboard-like surfaces” are the result of decades of stress on the joints.

After all the steel rods are installed, the surface will be “diamond-grinded to create a smooth, textured surface.”

The $5.64 million project, which will continue to November, is completely funded by federal economic stimulus funds, the spokesman said.

As for the actual work, he explained that workers saw-cut into the concrete, install the steel dowel assemblies, then fill the gap with fast-setting concrete. Damp canvas mats are placed over the dowel slots to allow the mortar to retain moisture during the curing process and to help the concrete harden.

Work is done on weekends and weeknights to minimize the impact on traffic. Hours are 7 a.m. through 6 p.m.

Saturday and from 7 a.m. Sunday through 5 a.m. Monday. Weeknight work is between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. For weekly updates, check online at hawaii.gov/dot/highways/roadwork.

MAHALO

To Mason Sekigawa: I went to the Pearl City Foodland on Feb. 25, looking for a product I bought previously. I am handicapped and unable to walk any distance. I was looking and looking when Mr. Sekigawa approached me to see whether he could help. He also was unable to find it, but soon came back with two other employees to help search. They also were unsuccessful. Mr. Sekigawa then told me that the company sometimes will cancel products, and this might be one of them. I thanked him and went to shop for other items. Ten minutes later he found me, with the product in his hand. His unselfish and kind kokua was much appreciated and made me feel good that people like him still exist in Hawaii.
Kenneth Yoda

Write to “Kokua Line” at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.






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