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Waterline project delays full repave of Ward Avenue

By June Watanabe

LAST UPDATED: 1:42 a.m. HST, Aug 13, 2012

Question: When Ward Avenue was repaved between King and Beretania streets, the repaving stopped just short of the marked pedestrian crossing on Beretania. As a result, the crossing is still full of holes and breaks in the pavement. Why wasn’t the street paved five more yards to include the pedestrian crossing?

Answer: We’re told a road repair supervisor has been assigned to assess the condition of the crosswalk area and make necessary repairs.

The repaving, done by the city Department of Facility Maintenance’s in-house crew, was meant to be a temporary fix because Ward between King and Beretania was in such bad condition.

The roadway was identified for contract resurfacing, but because of conflicts with a pending waterline proj­ect by the Board of Water Supply, resurfacing was postponed for several years, said Tyler Sugi­hara, chief of the department’s Road Maintenance Division.

After consulting with the Department of Design and Construction about “numerous complaints of the poor pavement condition” of Ward Avenue, mainly near Hotel Street, Sugihara said it was decided to do a temporary “asphalt concrete skin coat resurfacing to provide the public with a smoother riding surface” until the waterline proj­ect is completed.

“Our temporary work between Beretania and King Street did not include the crosswalk area because at that time the intent was to address the poor road condition for vehicles,” he said.


Be warned: The waterline proj­ect, on Ward from Kinau Street to Kapiolani Boulevard, is scheduled to begin “around October” and be completed in May, “barring any unforeseen circumstances,” board spokes­woman Tracy Burgo said.

The $1.6 million Ward Avenue Water System Improvement Proj­ect will involve replacing 2,400 feet of distribution pipeline, 12-inch and 8-inch waterlines, and replacing a 6-inch line with an 8-inch line.

Those lines were installed between 1959 and 1963.

“The project will improve fire protection, help to reduce the likelihood of emergency water main breaks, and enhance water service to residents and businesses in area, which include condominiums, the Blaisdell Center, Hawaiian Electric Co. and the Hono­lulu Academy of Arts,” now the Hono­lulu Museum of Art, Burgo said.

Once all permits are obtained by the contractor and a construction schedule set, the board will begin notifying the public through traffic advisories, signboards placed around the construction area and presentations to the Downtown and Ala Moana neighborhood boards, she said.

A webpage and phone hot line also will be set up to provide weekly updates on the proj­ect.

Burgo warned that since the proj­ect is in a residential area, work will be done only during the day, which means “a traffic inconvenience” for drivers taking the Kinau Street off­ramp from the H-1 freeway, as well as drivers heading mauka on Ward.

“Motorists will be advised to plan ahead and to use alternate routes if possible,” she said.

Once this project is completed, the city can begin its repaving proj­ect on Ward Avenue.


Auwe to impatient drivers. Almost every day during the workweek, I cross the busy intersection of King and Richards streets. As soon as the pedestrian light comes on, cars from Richards turn left onto King. For the most part, drivers are nice and wait until I have crossed the street. Recently, a driver of TheBus motioned me to cross. Mahalo to him. He was patient and waited for me to get across. However, a driver in the next lane could not wait and turned right in front of me. On another day, someone beeped at the driver who was waiting for me to cross. And this is supposed to be the Aloha State? Drivers, please drive with aloha, especially when someone is crossing in front of you.

— Disgruntled Pedestrian

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