POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 3, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 10:38 a.m. HST, Feb 14, 2014
Honolulu's pothole-plagued roads have improved in recent years but local drivers still pay a heavy toll in car-repair costs to use them, a D.C.-based transportation research group found.
About 43 percent of the major roads in town are in poor condition, according to a report on the nation's roads released today by TRIP, an insurance company-sponsored nonprofit firm that looks at roads across the country and pushes for improvements. TRIP further found those conditions to cost motorists on average $598 each year in repairs. That's based on 2011 data.
TRIP first provided the Star-Advertiser the 2011 Honolulu figures in March, for the newspaper's "Road Woes" series on the city's aging motorways.
TRIP's national report reveals how Hawaii's capital city compares to the rest of the country.
Honolulu had the 13th-highest share of poor roads in the nation among cities with at least 500,000 people, the report found. Worst was a Southern California region composed of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Santa Ana, at 64 percent. Second-worst was the San Francisco-Oakland area, in Northern California, at 60 percent.
According to the TRIP report, Honolulu improved relative to other U.S. cities. In 2008, it had the third-highest share of poor roads among U.S. cities with a population of at least 500,000. Only San Jose, Calif., and Los Angeles ranked worse.
At the time, about 62 percent of Honolulu's major streets had fallen into poor condition, and drivers paid an average of $701 each year in repairs, TRIP found.
The 2011 data for TRIP's report predate a campaign launched earlier this year by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell to repave 1,500 of the city's more than 3,500 lane-miles in five years.
"Some said we couldn't do it, but I'm pleased to report that we are ahead of schedule, setting a record pace of road repaving this year, and we will not stop until every city-owned road is fixed," Caldwell said in a news release today.
He did not provide an updated tally, but the city aims to pave 300 lane-miles in 2013.
The state Department of Transportation just launched a $42 million H-1 freeway repaving and rehabilitation project in the heart of town. Next year, it looks to repave Kalanianaole Highway and Kamehameha Highway in Central Oahu, according to DOT Director Glenn Okimoto.