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CITY TAKEN TO TASK


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Roadwork practices slammed in '05 audit

Inadequate funding, poor record keeping and hastily fixed potholes are among criticisms mentioned in the report

By Marcel Honoré / mhonore@staradvertiser.com

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 07:08 p.m. HST, Feb 13, 2014

CTY ROADS AUAHI - 14 MARCH 2013- A vehicle drove over a pothole at Auahi St and Ward Ave. Honolulu Star-Advertiser photo by Cindy Ellen Russell

After a growing chorus of Hono­lulu motorists complained that thousands of potholes plaguing the streets were wrecking their cars, the city auditor's office decided to take a hard look at its roadwork practices.

It issued a scathing 87-page report, saying the city did not adequately fund its roadwork, lacked cohesive street maintenance policies and failed to meet most of the industry's best practices.

That was eight years ago.

The report, a June 2005 audit of the city's road maintenance practices that was released shortly after Mufi Hannemann became mayor, shows the crisis over Hono­lulu's roads is nothing new.

Honolulu's new mayor, Kirk Caldwell, is making a highly publicized push to fix the crumbling streets — but city officials made recommendations years earlier to help improve the roads. A limited number of those suggestions finally took effect in the past year or so.

"I took it as one my personal initiatives to ramp up road repaving," Caldwell said last week. "I can't talk about past practices," he added, referring to the era before he joined the city as Hono­lulu's managing director under Hannemann in 2009.

The 2005 audit examined the Department of Facility Maintenance, which coordinates roadwork as well as maintenance of other city equipment — buildings, signs, vehicles and streetlights, among other items. DFM also handles the smaller-scale fixes such as pothole patches. The city's Department of Design and Construction handles the major repaving using recommendations from DFM.

Oahu motorists have long complained about the poor condition of our roads, prompting Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s new plans to spend $150 million to get ahead of the problem. The Star-Advertiser, along with media partner Hawaii News Now, takes an in-depth look at the state of our roads.

TODAY

>> Star-Advertiser: For years, city and state governments put off maintenance and repair of roadways and diverted funds to other priorities. Also, critics wonder whether the city can pull off its plan to spend big money on road repairs.
>> Hawaii News Now: Tonight, will a more expensive asphalt product keep our road repairs in place longer than the next heavy rain?

STARTING TUESDAY

>> For nine days we will print full-page maps of each City Council district highlighting road conditions in each area.

The audit found that DFM failed to fully meet 22 of 24 road maintenance best practices.

Its road maintenance division kept poor records and relied on workers in the field to make repair judgment calls, the report found. The division had quality repair materials, but workers hastily repaired potholes with what's called a "grip-and-rip" technique, where potholes were filled and compacted with a shovel.

There were problems outside the division's control, too. It was poorly funded. Key department positions stayed vacant and were hard to fill. Notably, the report singled out Hannemann's predecessor, former Mayor Jeremy Harris, for diverting road workers to other tasks — including at least 5,600 road maintenance-worker hours spent helping on the popular public "Sunset on the Beach" events.

"Overtime payments for these diversions were costly and may have adversely impacted the department's budget," the audit stated.

The number of lane-miles paved also plunged shortly before and throughout Harris' years in office — while the number of smaller, short-term road fixes spiked. In 1989 the city repaved 319 lane-miles, compared with 45 lane-miles repaved in 1994. That number rebounded somewhat in 2001, up to about 150 lane-miles, but by 2004 it had crept back down to about 60.

In 2002 the city reported patching more than 38,000 potholes. In 2004 it patched nearly 70,000.

Attempts to reach Harris for comment for this story were unsuccessful.

The report recommended better funding and adequate resources so the city could do a better, more cost-effective job keeping up its city roads.

In the wake of the 2005 report, Hono­lulu did boost its road repair budgets. But the city appears to have done little to improve its road repair practices in the years afterward.

In a recent email exchange with the Star-Advertiser, Ross Sasa­mura, who previously served as DFM director from 1999 to 2001 and took the job again this year, did not address most of the best-practice issues raised in the report. The road maintenance division "responded to the 2005 audit to the extent that it was possible with the operating and (capital) budgets it was afforded," he wrote.

Road repairs and more frequent surveys of street conditions ought to be a higher priority, the city auditor's office found.

The road maintenance division should avoid a "worst-first" philosophy, where workers fix only the worst roads and allow them to deteriorate into expensive problems before they get attention.

It wasn't until 2012 that the City Council approved what it described as a "long overdue" policy establishing Hono­lulu's standards for road conditions. That policy called for road crews to repair streets in decent shape — so they last longer — instead of simply addressing the worst ones first. It also called on the city to work with University of Hawaii experts and pavement industry experts to help shape its road repair policies.

The 2005 audit also recommended annual road condition surveys as a best practice. Sasa­mura said last week that wouldn't be necessary for all the city's roads, since not all of them see drastic change from year to year or accommodate heavy traffic.

Ricardo Archilla, a UH associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is drafting a report aimed at helping Hono­lulu better maintain its roads. The report draws from methods Archilla has studied in other states, and he expects it to be completed in the next several weeks. It's not clear yet when it would be made public.

"Like anybody else, I saw the results, and those were not great," Archilla, who has spent 11 years at UH, said of road repairs done in the past decade. "It's very difficult to put the finger on what the problem was."

MISSING THE MARK

In 2005, Honolulu's city auditor examined whether the city's road maintenance division followed industry best practices. In most cases it didn't. Here are some highlights:

Best practice: "Pothole patching. Use high quality materials."
Does the city comply? Yes.
Comment: "For pothole patching, the division generally uses an asphalt/
concrete mix, which is adequate."

Best practice: "Pothole patching. Place — do not throw — material in the patch area."
Does the city comply? Somewhat.
Comment: "According to road crew members we interviewed, sometimes, there are so many potholes that crews don't have time to construct a perfect patch. They often apply a 'grip-and-rip' technique where the pothole is filled and is compacted with a shovel."

Best practice: "The city has allocated funding to support the annual maintenance and surface treatment programs, and has allocated a consistent level of funding."
Does the city comply? No.
Comment: "Funding levels are inconsistent and do not always address portions of the annual rehabilitation needs."

Best practice: "Reduce repetitive activity by taking permanent corrective action."
Does the city comply? No.
Comment: "Over the last several years, resurfacing and reconstruction activities have been minimal; short-term fixes have been more prevalent. A division employee acknowledged that some potholes have been patched more than once."

Best practice: "By sticking to regularly scheduled maintenance tasks, agencies can decrease the accumulation of water in the subgrade and road base, reducing potholes."
Does the city comply? No.
Comment: "The division does not schedule road maintenance on a regular basis."

STATE HIGHWAY REPAIRS

The state Department of Transportation is facing its own backlog of major road repairs, and the agency is working to catch up. Here's a look at what it has planned:

MAJOR FREEWAY PROJECTS

PROJECT AREA SCHEDULED ESTIMATED COST
Deck repair and p.m. contra-flow
» H-1 freeway between Pearl City and Waipahu exits Ongoing through $82 million
in the westbound lanes, followed by eastbound lanes late sumer 2014
» Extend the Pearl City viaduct between the Pearl City onramp
and the Waipahu exit to add an auxiliary lane
» Re-stripe a portion of the H-1 freeway westbound from
the Aiea pedestrian overpass to the Pearl City exit
» Evening contra-flow similar to the morning ZipperLane
Rehabilitation of a portion of the freeway in both directions
» H-1 portion from Middle Street to the vicinity of Ward Avenue Summer 2013 $40 million
RESURFACING AND MAINTENANCE PROJECTS
Major rehabilitation/resurfacing project
» Kamehameha Highway from Waihau Street to Ka Uka Boulevard Fall 2013 $13 million
Major resurfacing
» Mokapu Road from North Kalaheo Avenue to Kapaa Quarry Road In progress $5.7 million
» Kalanianaole Highway from West Hind Drive to vicinity Fall 2013 $14 million
of Hanauma Bay Road
Resurfacing
» Kahuapaani Street from Salt Lake Boulevard to Moanalua Freeway March 2013 $1.3 million
Deck repairs
» H-1 freeway Airport Viaduct, Spring 2013 $26 million
vicinity of Valkenburgh to Middle streets
Maintenance surface-type repairs
» H-1 overpasses at McCully and Keeaumoku streets, and Nuuanu Avenue Spring 2013 $800,000
(bridges plus the street portion below in the state right of way)
» Bingham Street, H-1 offramp to Isenberg Street Summer 2013 $400,000
» Farrington Highway, Kaukonahua Road to Goodale Circle Summer 2013 $500,000
» H-201 westbound Exit 1-E by Aloha Stadium/Halawa Summer 2013 $300,000
Maintenance surface-type repairs in spot areas
» Kamehameha Highway, vicinity of Pali Momi to Aiea Stream Spring 2013 $600,000
» Mokapu Saddle Road from H-3 to Kapaa Quarry Road Tentatively for $400,000
  summer 2013
» Pali Highway in both directions * Early fall 2013 $400,000
* A quick-fix shallow resurfacing that will be done as an interim measure.
A larger, more comprehensive resurfacing is scheduled for fall 2014.
Source: Hawaii Department of Transportation






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loquaciousone wrote:
Kirk said that he can't comment on past practice because he was, as mufi's managing director -- PAST PRACTICE.
on March 25,2013 | 04:00AM
Grimbold wrote:
Same story everywhere: Third world condition is gradually encroaching. Is it the growing composition of the population?
on March 25,2013 | 05:31AM
BluesBreaker wrote:
The audit was 2005 and covered a period before 'Caldwell was MD. That's the past practice. Duh.
on March 25,2013 | 06:11AM
loquaciousone wrote:
The audit was done during Kirk's tenure as Managing Director so why didn't he do something then DUH!
on March 25,2013 | 06:46AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Yes, the audit was done in 2005 but the sticking point here is that nothing was done to correct the audit since then. Harris is absolutely to blame but what about those who succeeded him and did nothing.
on March 25,2013 | 07:30AM
loquaciousone wrote:
That's like when your gas tank reads empty, you don't fill up gas because your wife used up all the gas before you.
on March 25,2013 | 07:38AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
COMMENT OF THE DAY!!!!
on March 25,2013 | 08:26AM
Skyler wrote:
Haha WINNAH!
on March 25,2013 | 09:18AM
Malani wrote:
K, he did nothing as a former Managing Director here is his chance to make up for what his former boss neglected to do. We wait and see how the repaired roads will turn out.
on March 25,2013 | 07:48AM
BluesBreaker wrote:
You're wrong, as usual. Kirk Caldwell was not MD for Jeremy Harris or before the date of the audit. Thanks for playing.
on March 25,2013 | 12:10PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Thanks Kirk, your doing a great job by addressing these issues. I'm sure glad Ben is an afterthought.
on March 25,2013 | 01:50PM
Malani wrote:
One good think for this MD, he is not using a band aid to fix the holes. He's closing the holes with stiches and we all know if it is done right the holes will not open again, Well! depends who the MD is I guess?
on March 25,2013 | 07:42AM
postmanx wrote:
How about changing the practice of having 5 people supervise while 1 person works? Kauai has beautiful roads and you will not seeing anyone standing around "supervising".
on March 25,2013 | 08:04AM
retire wrote:
AMEN!
on March 25,2013 | 11:38AM
false wrote:
Cannot since it is a Union rule and its also not inline with road maintenance best practice.
on March 25,2013 | 12:01PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Kauai has one road!
on March 25,2013 | 01:51PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Only Nanakuli has one road. Everyone else joined he 20th century years ago.
on March 25,2013 | 02:29PM
false wrote:
Duh. Same old city. Duh. By the way are you getting paid for this as it has nothing to do with the rail. You must be on the CIty contract also. LOL
on March 25,2013 | 11:59AM
allie wrote:
yup..and he continuing incompetence will cost you
on March 25,2013 | 06:41AM
niceynicey wrote:
Yikes!
on March 25,2013 | 11:35AM
Malani wrote:
Not that he can't comment, he does not want to comment. Seem like he wants to protect himself when he is no longer Mayor. No worries Kirk, no matter what somebody will find something stink to talk about you.
on March 25,2013 | 07:38AM
Skyler wrote:
Hawaii's Transportation Dept. = The definition of insanity: Doing the same things wrong over & over again & expecting a different result.
on March 25,2013 | 09:17AM
aukai808 wrote:
The audit covered the period when Harris was mayor. The conditions of both roads and sewers were neglected during his ten years as mayor so that he could throw sunset on the beach and put in sidewalks and statues in Waikiki. Period.
on March 25,2013 | 09:41AM
false wrote:
So does that mean Mufi and Kirk never had any knowledge that the roads were bad?
on March 25,2013 | 12:04PM
false wrote:
One of Kirk's best practices is saying "i" this and "i" that.
on March 25,2013 | 11:58AM
poidragon wrote:
So much for anyone being held accountable! Why rehire 'Ross Sasa­mura,' as DFM director if he did not take responsibility for his previous stint as department head, too many unanswered questions and lack of accountability to warrant rehiring this person! As for Harris and Hanneman, you know they both will have excuses as to why they did not get the job done when they were in charge and claim it was not their fault...................!
on March 25,2013 | 02:52PM
wondermn1 wrote:
If our Tax Monies were used properly, our roads would be in great shape. Cut out the entitlements for those who ae not productive members of society ( or rather a drain on society) and use the monies to improve conditions for all. Get a new mayor who does not have to kiss the Unions on the butts. bring back the pride in Honolulu like Fasi did.
on March 25,2013 | 04:16AM
Skyler wrote:
I would like to believe that money would solve this, but i don't. Throwing money into bad road-building practices will NOT solve the problems here.

Fasi is missed - that is for sure. We need another balls-out kinda Mayor like him - BADLY.
on March 25,2013 | 09:21AM
false wrote:
As for cutting out those who are non productive members of society our law called for having a council and legislature.
on March 25,2013 | 12:05PM
hikine wrote:
These road funds were diverted to other projects that fell flat on their faces. Ceyatano, Hanneman, Harris, Carlisle, they're are crooks!
on March 25,2013 | 04:30AM
EwaWarrior wrote:
Amen to that! Add Hanabutta, Lazie I Dunno, and a whole bunch of others to that list!
on March 25,2013 | 07:00AM
wiliki wrote:
In rough economic times. Potholes are not the highest priority. But Republicans in Congress have blocked funds for our road infrastructure.... Blame them.
on March 25,2013 | 08:35AM
Skyler wrote:
BS. You could give them all the money in the GF & the roads would still be mucked up & you know it. It's HOW the roads are built, and lack of the desire & mulishness to work towards a better solution... all out of fear of 'job security' and who knows what else.
on March 25,2013 | 09:27AM
wiliki wrote:
Want better roads... then pay for them.
on March 25,2013 | 03:51PM
kauai wrote:
I AM paying for them. Everytime I put gas in my car. Everytime I pay for my car registration. Get a clue.
on March 25,2013 | 05:44PM
Skyler wrote:
Thanks. Obviously wiliki uses a City & County vehicle to go to & from work.
on March 25,2013 | 07:28PM
hikine wrote:
We did but didn't get what we paid for!
on March 25,2013 | 07:26PM
false wrote:
Maybe, but for the past 7 or more years?
on March 25,2013 | 12:07PM
wiliki wrote:
Yes... higher priorities have been placed ahead of roads. For example, improvements to Waikiki. Tourism is important for Honolulu and the state.
on March 25,2013 | 03:52PM
kauai wrote:
And that's ANOTHER problem. Putting all our eggs in the tourism basket. What have the politicians and bureaucrats been doing to DIVERSIFY our economy? More clues needed.
on March 25,2013 | 05:47PM
Allenk wrote:
This diversify economy issue has been around for years as well. It has never been adequately addressed and so whenever SA runs a story about how visitor spending is up, we're supposed to jump for joy and reap the benefits! NOT. We get stuck in the same old loop like potholes and road repairs.
on March 25,2013 | 06:54PM
Kuniarr wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on March 25,2013 | 01:05PM
wiliki wrote:
If you want more repairs, then it simple, just find the revenues to pay for it.
on March 25,2013 | 03:53PM
kauai wrote:
The revenues are already there! See my previous post! I'm contributing revenue everytime I put gas in my car and when I pay for my car registration! Clue in already! Sheesh.
on March 25,2013 | 05:49PM
1coconut wrote:
In other words NOTHING HAS CHANGED
on March 25,2013 | 04:37AM
allie wrote:
yup
on March 25,2013 | 06:41AM
niceynicey wrote:
Yikes!
on March 25,2013 | 11:35AM
Smiley7 wrote:
For every 1 person working, there will be 5 guys standing around watching that person. The lanes are closed yet no work is being performed. Why have HPD on site? They contribute nothing to the whole process? Kamehameha Highway from Aiea to PC is a disgrace to the King himself. Roads that don't need to be resurfaced and the ones that need to be are forgotten. Dems all about talk but no action.
on March 25,2013 | 04:48AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Because they are all Union. They no care as long as the moolah shows up.
on March 25,2013 | 05:05AM
EwaWarrior wrote:
Unions = legalized Ponzi schemes!
on March 25,2013 | 08:07AM
wiliki wrote:
HPD is there because workers who direct traffic have caused accidents.
on March 25,2013 | 08:36AM
Skyler wrote:
Please tell them to stop standing around texting, & direct traffic then... the public's eyes are upon them.
on March 25,2013 | 09:31AM
false wrote:
Also union contract says that workers needs to be accompanied by HDP officer when staring into hole.
on March 25,2013 | 12:09PM
Skyler wrote:
lol
on March 25,2013 | 07:31PM
Allenk wrote:
Even today, as I drove down Waialae Avenue, which was squeezed down from 4 lanes to two lanes I see guys patching the outside curb area, but the main portion of the road is still rutted, uneven and crumbling. What are they doing?
on March 25,2013 | 06:56PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Just stop making excuses and admit it. Then the skies will clear and the work can get done.
on March 25,2013 | 05:04AM
engineersoldier wrote:
This was a good audit, but the problem is that there was no follow through, either by the city or the city council. The city council needs to review this failure and correct it going forward. There was also a pretty decent audit on the maintenance and repair of the city's fleet of vehicles, for which the same dept is responsible.
on March 25,2013 | 05:29AM
BluesBreaker wrote:
Yep. Nothing happens on transportation without the council. Just last week they shot down an increase in the fuel tax to pay for roads, even though we have many more miles of roads than we did in 1989, the last time it was raised. And since then the amount of traffic on our roads has increased 80%. More fuel efficient vehicles and reduced driving by Oahu residents because of expensive gas have further reduced the amount the tax brings in, even though the population and number of drivers is increasing.
on March 25,2013 | 06:18AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
If you took the time to read this article, you would have seen that poor practices and rampant waste by our roads crews was identified and itemized in 2005 during the Hannemann administration. The City made no effort to correct this, including during the time Mr Caldwell was managing director.

The article mentions 5,600 road maintenance-worker hours redirected by Mayor Jeremy Harris to sunset on the beach, but makes no mention of the 5,525 of OVERTIME Hours for Illegal Stream Dumping under Mufi Hannemann while Kirk Caldwell was managing director, not to mention the road maintenance-worker hours used to remove the illegal dump site.

Why do you think giving an incompetent and accountable Dept of facilities management more money will make things any better UNTIL they change their culture of waste and fraud? In 2005, the audit made it clear that slopping cold asphalt into unprepared potholes and slapping it with shovels was a waste of time and materials, yet... that is EXACTLY how Mr Caldwell had himself filmed for his pothole repair media event in 2013.
on March 25,2013 | 07:55AM
wiliki wrote:
It's the funding.... in hard economic times this kind of work must be done with less money. You don't get as much work done. But teachers, public safety and other necessary services are more important.
on March 25,2013 | 08:41AM
MKN wrote:
@wiliki: While funding may be an issue, they're still doing the "rip and grip" pothole filling technique which was cited in the audit to be ineffective. They seriously need to start implementing the best practices recommended by the audit.
on March 25,2013 | 09:42AM
wiliki wrote:
Nope... rep and grip as stated in the article are temporary because the numerous holes to fill. Best to repaved the street.
on March 25,2013 | 03:46PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
wiliki wrote: "It's the funding.... in hard economic times this kind of work must be done with less money. "

That's funny.

I don't see Honolulu rail doing more with less. I see HART in their luxury downtown offices costing taxpayers over a million dollars a year just in rent, encouraging their employees to drive into downtown Honolulu every day by providing them subsidized parking at taxpayer expense. They payed some clown in California over a million dollars just to blog about how much we needed rail and convince us that Ben Cayetano would be a terrible mayor, all funded by tax collections.

Their large staff, includes a "Chief of Security" and HIS staff despite there being no train or passenger to secure and won't be for many years. And they still employ a team of public relations people despite getting everything that they wanted.

Can you relate to me some of the cutbacks and sacrifices HART is making as EVERYONE on Oahu suffers from our our crumbling and incompetently maintained roads? The only thing I see HART and rail doing is stealing from our already overburdened bus system.
on March 25,2013 | 11:36AM
wiliki wrote:
There was a graph published on the work progress. Record amounts of work were accomplished in election years....
on March 25,2013 | 03:47PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
I think you must have replied to the wrong person, as that has nothing to do with Honolulu Rail and your claim that we must be content with crappy roads because there is less money. Honolulu rail hasn't made any cutbacks to their bloated bureaucracy AND the the train raiding the bus's maintenance fund to pay for construction!
on March 25,2013 | 05:44PM
false wrote:
And the rail. Our F-ast A-utomated -Rapid T-ransit .
on March 25,2013 | 12:12PM
Skyler wrote:
Correct, you are. And I'm not even going to reply to wiliki's insistence that 'it's the funding' that is the problem. The 'problem' is poor road-building practices and the refusal to make the needed changes to correct it. And on top of that, the 'other problem' is certain politicians' lack of political nuts to challenge the Unions to make those changes.
on March 25,2013 | 09:39AM
BluesBreaker wrote:
You are the one who needs to spend more time reading. Caldwell was in the House until 2008. He didn't start as MD for Hannemann until 2009. This is a different administration and different people running the departments. I agree with engineersoldier's assessment.
on March 25,2013 | 12:15PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
BluesBreaker wrote: "You are the one who needs to spend more time reading. Caldwell was in the House until 2008. He didn't start as MD for Hannemann until 2009."

The illegal dumping into Maili'ili Stream was ongoing from February of 2008 to May of 2009, well into Mr Caldwell's stint as managing director. As you recall, the whole mess was covered up. No one besides the (taxpayers who were fined $1,500,000.00!) was held accountable. The resulting cover-up occurred during Mr Caldwell's time as MD. No one was fired, disciplined, fined, or ever named despite wasting untold millions and thousands and thousands of hours of overtime. Because this overtime is used as a basis for pensions, this is a crime that Oahu taxpayers will have to pay for for decades. Mr Caldwell, as managing director, was complicit in the coverup.

If Mr Caldwell was unaware of the audit and the recommendations of the 2005 audit, then he was a terrible managing director. It was widely reported at the time it came out. He had a responsibility to familiarize himself with such documents. Obviously, the incompetence and institutional fraud regarding our terrible roads is nothing new.

In the past 5 years, Mr Caldwell has been managing director, interim Mayor and now elected Mayor. Sadly, he still thinks the correct way to repair our roads is by slopping cold asphalt into water filled holes and slapping it with shovel. This audit demonstrates a paper trail that the City knew this was wrong in 2005 and yet they still persist in wasting our money and materials like this.

Unfortunately for Mr Caldwell, he can't blame the last guy, because he helped the last guy create the problem we are dealing with now.
on March 25,2013 | 12:57PM
wiliki wrote:
This is guilt by association. There is no proof that anyone knew of the problem at that early a time.
on March 25,2013 | 03:44PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
wiliki wrote: "This is guilt by association. There is no proof that anyone knew of the problem at that early a time."

Really. You want to go with "City manager Kirk Caldwell didn't know that the City he was managing was running an illegal construction waste dumping operation and racking up thousands and thousands of overtime doing it."

Do you remember what happened after Carroll Cox broke the story? He and Mufi Hannemann stonewalled for over a year, claiming to "investigate" but never discovering anything. No one knew nothing and Carroll Cox was just a big meany who didn't mind his own business. Do you REALLY not remember that? Really?

Maybe this will refresh your memory:

http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2010/11/16/6628-road-to-riches-city-workers-claimed-5525-overtime-hours-for-illegal-stream-dumping/

As managing director, Kirk Caldwell wrote a letter to the editor of the SA minimizing the damage to Mailiili Stream and cost to taxpayers. So someone, at some point must have told him, or perhaps he read the newspaper.
on March 25,2013 | 06:04PM
inlanikai wrote:
The fuel tax that was shot down would generate $15m a year. Caldwell wants $150m. So, he gets $135m instead which is still more than the $100m anyone who knows anything thinks is the upper limit of what can be spent in a year anyway. So, what's the big deal? Oh yeah, Caldwell lost another revenue stream to support the Bus now and eventually Rail O&M costs. So sad.
on March 25,2013 | 08:04AM
localguy wrote:
In 10 to 15 years we will be reading the very same types of reports on how badly our bureaucrats mismanaged rail. We will find tens of millions of wasted tax dollars, union featherbedding, fraud, and waste. We just can't get it right in any area, no chance of running an efficient operation.
on March 25,2013 | 11:32AM
false wrote:
Fule tax to fix the road was just a mere cover for needing more tax dollars that the city needs among like the rail and other things. Come on Mr. Duh.
on March 25,2013 | 12:11PM
egs wrote:
All roads in Hawaii should be resurfaced like that portion of Pali Highway Honolulu bound about 2/3 below the tunnel in the left lane. It is the only portion of the Highway that is very smooth and extremely quiet to drive upon.
on March 25,2013 | 05:54AM
engineersoldier wrote:
Agree, it looks, feels and sounds like a denser mix that was properly compacted. DOT and the city should review this patch to see how it was mixed and constructed and replicate it. I have asked many of my engineer friends if they have noticed what you have and they had not, showing their general nonchalance and/or indifference to this issue.
on March 25,2013 | 06:08AM
Malani wrote:
The DOT and the City should stand there and watch these guys who are doing the repairs scoop up the stuff, slam it in the holes and pat it down with the shovel then they will know how our roads are being reparied.
on March 25,2013 | 07:53AM
wiliki wrote:
No good the public doesn't like to see other workers watching the work. The public thinks that they are goofing off. But maybe just maybe, adequate supervision is really what's needed. That said, there seems to be many water problems with the Pali Highway. At a few points there seem to be springs which appear from the mauka side of the road. Shouldn't the state run drainage pipes under the pavement to divert this runoff?
on March 25,2013 | 08:46AM
MKN wrote:
@wiliki: Good question. You would think that they would do it right? Unfortunately, the State Highways Division has also been slacking when it comes to road maintenance. The freeway stretch from Punahou to the Middle Street overpass needs some serious maintenance work. They keep patching the holes, but the problem keeps coming back when it rains. I wonder if they borrowed the city's maintenance playbook? LOL!
on March 25,2013 | 09:46AM
wiliki wrote:
I disagree. There are a few potholes, but it's not the potted war zone that you imagine.
on March 25,2013 | 03:42PM
localguy wrote:
The DOT and the City learned this slop job practice by watching YouTube videos.
on March 25,2013 | 11:35AM
localguy wrote:
DoT and the City have no idea who did this work. Obviously not done by our workers. Unions are trying to get this road section torn up so it can be done to "Nei Standards" Whew, they can't have this going on under their watch. It might happen again.
on March 25,2013 | 11:34AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Altho it's part of the state highway system, there's a section of H1 eastbound by Aloha Stadium that was redone a couple of years ago and whoever did it, did a real good job. You can actually hear the difference as when you hit that section, the sound inside your car gets noticeably quieter. Go talk to those guys 'cause they did it right.
on March 25,2013 | 07:34AM
localguy wrote:
DoT and the City have no idea who did this work. Obviously not done by our workers. Unions are trying to get this road section torn up so it can be done to "Nei Standards" Whew, they can't have this going on under their watch. It might happen again.
on March 25,2013 | 11:36AM
Wazdat wrote:
DUH it has ONLY BEEN ABOUT BUILDING RAIL not maintaining our ROADS....SAD
on March 25,2013 | 05:59AM
BluesBreaker wrote:
Two separate sources of funding are involved in building rail. One-third is paid for with New Starts Section 5309 federal funding. The rest comes from the surcharge on the GET.Roads use the City fuel tax, as has been mentioned in all of these articles about road repair and maintenance. The fuel tax can be used for bus operations but not rail, which doesn't use roads.
on March 25,2013 | 06:25AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
BluesBreaker wrote: "The fuel tax can be used for bus operations but not rail, which doesn't use roads."

The gas tax is used to fund the bus operations.

The train has gotten it's greedy, greedy fingers on $200,000,000.00 intended for maintenance of the buses and redirected it for rail construction. This leaves the bus short $200,000,000.00. As you recall, a shortfall of just three million dollars hobbled bus service island wide. Obviously, our bus system can't survive a $200,000,000.00 shortfall with finding the money elsewhere.

Since the train skimmed off the federal dollars, that leaves the fare box and the gas tax. Which one do you think will be raised and used to keep the bus running?
on March 25,2013 | 08:04AM
wiliki wrote:
Gee Blue's point went over your head. The other source of funding is the surcharge on the GET. Why do you think that anything else is being considered???
on March 25,2013 | 08:49AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
wiliki wrote: "Gee Blue's point went over your head. The other source of funding is the surcharge on the GET. Why do you think that anything else is being considered???"

I just explained the process by which our gas tax is being redirected away from road maintenance and for rail construction instead. Unless you think bus fare is going up TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS. Perhaps you would care to read it again.
on March 25,2013 | 11:16AM
wiliki wrote:
Baloney... no gas tax is being used for rail construction.
on March 25,2013 | 03:39PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
So, how do you think the bus will make up the $200,000,000.00 the rail is taking from it? A $200,000,000.00 increase in bus fares?
on March 25,2013 | 03:45PM
inlanikai wrote:
The Mayor's proposal was called a "Transportation Fund" and one of the stated uses for it was Bus O&M costs. You are correct that the current Rail capital construction costs have other funding sources and would not tap into this proposed Transportation Fund. However, there is nothing that would prohibit the Fund from being tapped once Rail is operational to support Rail O&M costs just as it would support other "transportation" costs for roads and the Bus. If you honestly believe this Fund would never be used for Rail O&M costs or do not believe that was one of Caldwell's reason for putting it in place now under the guise of support for roads and Bus then you are very naive.
on March 25,2013 | 08:10AM
wiliki wrote:
10 years from now, it's difficult to make any reasonable predictions. What makes you think that your predictions will come true? Try concentrating on real problems in the present time.
on March 25,2013 | 08:50AM
inlanikai wrote:
Because it has happened in other states and municipalities. Because there still has been no announced plan on how the C&C is going to make up the shortfall in O&M costs for Rail since the fares will only support a fraction of the total O&M costs. Because when the whole fury over road repair started to take shape the Mayor first said we needed to spend more money on road repair but then when he made his budget proposal it morphed into a "transportation fund" that encompassed Bus O&M support. This is a real problem in the present time since the Mayor wants to establish this fund now.
on March 25,2013 | 09:01AM
wiliki wrote:
A game changer will be if the mayor can find federal assistance for road repairs in a federal stimulus plan. We need another one to create more jobs. We're not out of the woods yet.
on March 25,2013 | 03:36PM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
wiliki wrote: "10 years from now, it's difficult to make any reasonable predictions. What makes you think that your predictions will come true?"

That's funny. You seem pretty confident about those comically high rail ridership projections for 2021.
on March 25,2013 | 02:23PM
wiliki wrote:
Only because of professional surveys. The numbers are good. You probably could repeat the surveys and find an even higher projected ridership.
on March 25,2013 | 03:38PM
DABLACK wrote:
Cut out all the BS and fix the dam roads already !!
on March 25,2013 | 06:12AM
Malani wrote:
Hey wait, last nights news those guys in China town tripping and falling down because their roads/sidewalks got some big big holes in them. Everybody today looking who to blame for the neglect. So today nobody has time to fix our roads. The excuse, its raining.
on March 25,2013 | 07:57AM
lionel53 wrote:
Get rid of that "Grip and Rip" technique and use a better grade of asphalt. City should check with the Army Cor of Engineers regarding asphalt quality. I think they woukd be a great source of information.
on March 25,2013 | 06:12AM
Kaleo744 wrote:
People of Hawaii quit complaining already and blame yourselfs for all what's happening to us. We elected all those fools who robbed Peter to pay Paul.. And now we are paying dearly for it..Kirk new what was going on he was part of it all,and now he"s ating like like the true ploitician that he is...PUPPET ON THE UNION STRING.
on March 25,2013 | 06:38AM
allie wrote:
true..Hawaii deserves everything it gets
on March 25,2013 | 06:43AM
niceynicey wrote:
Yikes!
on March 25,2013 | 11:36AM
Malani wrote:
The reason they keep electing the same politicians into office is because in two years the people aquired anmesia.
on March 25,2013 | 08:00AM
McCully wrote:
If the city took $200 million form HART, there's your money to pave the roads. HART's not using the money so give it back to the city.
on March 25,2013 | 07:10AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
If the audit was issued 8 years ago and obviously nothing done, is the city libel for damages done to motorists cars?
on March 25,2013 | 07:21AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Better yet, if this audit was issued 8 years ago, why is it only now relevant enough to be reported to the public? I, along with countless motorists have inquired with city and state to no avail. Now we know it was because funds were being siphoned off to other projects (rail?). Our city and state officials SUCK big time.
on March 25,2013 | 07:23AM
wondermn1 wrote:
IRT Publicbraddah, the last sentance is spot on
on March 25,2013 | 08:31AM
cojef wrote:
Glad I do not live in Hawaii or more specifically on Oahu. When I visit, just use TheBus, and the trips from the airport and back by shuttle. Feel sorry for local drivers who have expensive cars. Just bought a moderate priced C-230 sport sedan last November for my daily shopping chores. Drive mostly on the freeways at steady 75 miles per hour, either in the car-pool lane(2 or more in California) or regular lane.
on March 25,2013 | 07:41AM
wondermn1 wrote:
Maybe we should blame G. Bush???? I don't think so, I think that Caldwell who was Managing Director under the MUFEE admin. needs to get his theme changed to do Roads Better. Better yet, STOP THE RAIL & USE THE MONIES TO FIX OUR INFRASTRUCTURE. We are the taxpayers, why aren't we screamin mad at those in charge of our department of transportation and the City Roads dept. Our City Council is now usless ( except for Ann Kobayashi) in solving anything. Tom Berg was the only other Member who watched out for the taxpayer now we have replaced her with rubber stamp Pine.
on March 25,2013 | 08:42AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Jeremy Harris was always known as the "window dressing" mayor and this is yet another example.
on March 25,2013 | 07:26AM
Malani wrote:
The Auditor's are now taking a hard look at our roads? What planet do they live on that they don't need to drive on our roads? They've been hearing about the road complaints for years and only now will take a look at it? It appears they never came across any potholes while driving the roads of Oahu and will now see what all the complaints are about from others. What a joke!
on March 25,2013 | 07:35AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Uh the report was done in 2005.
on March 25,2013 | 07:43AM
gsr wrote:
Out on the north shore there have been a lot of crews re-striping and putting reflectors down. Maybe the time/money would be better spent on repaving? Way to polish that t*rd.
on March 25,2013 | 07:36AM
loquaciousone wrote:
The reflectors are there to show you where the biggest potholes are.
on March 25,2013 | 07:43AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
' Ricardo Archilla, a UH associate professor of civil and environmental engineering said of road repairs done in the past decade. "It's very difficult to put the finger on what the problem was." '

Perhaps Professor Archilla should read this article.
on March 25,2013 | 07:40AM
niimi wrote:
The gasoline fuel tax should have been raised progressively, not frozen for over two decades now. raise the gas tax portion from the county.
on March 25,2013 | 08:00AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
So county road crews can waste time and materials faster?
on March 25,2013 | 08:30AM
koji wrote:
i would like to see the current condition of the pot hole Kirk so graciusly filled as a photo op.
on March 25,2013 | 08:01AM
lowtone123 wrote:
The gift that keeps on giving. The report only validates what we already knew about Harris and Mufi didn't do much better. Thanks guys! With mayors like that who needs enemies.
on March 25,2013 | 08:17AM
wiliki wrote:
Looks like the City is coming to grips in resources to address this problem.....
on March 25,2013 | 08:33AM
Skyler wrote:
Since you seem to work for them, kindly tell them to change their road-building practices if they're going to spend more money. The roads are already bad and everyone knows it - so rather than rush to put kitty litter into the pot holes, get them to study Florida's method of road-building & implement that so our roads last more than a week, why doncha?

Kirk could be Governor if he actually pulls this off. Imagine that - someone who bucks the status quo & does something POSITIVE for Oahu's citizens for a change.
on March 25,2013 | 09:48AM
wiliki wrote:
As the article says, Hawaii uses superior materials for road maintenance. It's not "kitty litter". That comes from your imagination.
on March 25,2013 | 03:34PM
Skyler wrote:
Throwing cold asphalt into a hole filled with water has about the same effect as putting kitty litter in it.
on March 25,2013 | 07:43PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Shoulda come to grips before they committed the taxpayers to a multi billion dollar boondogle.
on March 25,2013 | 10:01AM
wiliki wrote:
Baloney.... the majority support rail in Honolulu.
on March 25,2013 | 03:34PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Spam.....PRP bought the election for Kric.
on March 25,2013 | 03:48PM
pakeheat wrote:
MInor correction wiliki, slight majority supported rail in Honolulu.
on March 25,2013 | 05:05PM
Hank13 wrote:
250Degrees! I bet that's the one thing that is ALWAYS overlooked. If there are inspectors out there, get off your you know whats! Make the paving companies do the job RIGHT!
on March 25,2013 | 08:50AM
AhiPoke wrote:
The underlying problem is that, no matter how much any mayor tries, the department bureaucracy does what it wants. Or in this case, doesn't do what it doesn't want to do. This is the problem with all government agencies, no one is accountable. No matter how bad any public worker is they can't be fired unless they commit a crime and even then it's difficult. This is not a statement in support of Caldwell, just telling it like it is.
on March 25,2013 | 08:59AM
Bumby wrote:
Kirk you know that the practices of how things are done for all maintenance work is below average in fact terrible at times. Get beyond big business and stop the rail for adding another monstrousity to take care of is obvious what will happen.
on March 25,2013 | 10:21AM
groinksan wrote:
In a nutshell... We're no longer talking about patchwork. The condition of the roads are beyond throwing gravel into cracks and tapping with a shovel. The roads were in much better condition leading up to Harris, and then it went downhill from there. The roads need to be grounded down to the "before Harris" foundation, and a new layer of asphalt needs to be added.
on March 25,2013 | 11:28AM
localguy wrote:
Nothing new here. So sad when it takes 7 years to initiate fixes found back in 2005. Well, for the Nei this would be average, we always work on "Island Time" so no need to rush. Work on it tomorrow. We should seek assistance from the Japanese, world class road maintenance experts. Their roads are to but it bluntly, awesome compared to ours. I really doubt we will ever get it right, just not in our genes, we can't compete with the mainland and other countries. We will always be last in everything, this is what we do.
on March 25,2013 | 11:29AM
false wrote:
Department of Facility Maintenance Failed 22 of 24 road maintenance best practices. Come on let's give them a break after all they did past #23. Ability to watch work in progress while two other are working. #24. Wait until roads deteriorate enough before work becomes critical. I am relieved that the former DFM director is back on the job. At least he knows that the work has not been done.
on March 25,2013 | 11:57AM
loquaciousone wrote:
At least our road maintenance crews have plenty experience with Sunset on the Beach.
on March 25,2013 | 02:44PM
tinapa wrote:
Audits are meaningless unless there is an immediate corrective action taken. Most governmental entiities are audited not for the purpose of determining whether or not such entity was in compliance with established rules and regulations in achieving their objectives for which they are created but rather to satisfy legal requirements and this is the very reason of the lack of interest in pursuing audit recommendations. Audit reports then become just remnants of the past and become a permanent fixtures in a filing cabinet. Lack of funding is a hollow excuse because part of the vehicle registration fees is earmarked for road repair. Funding is not based on urgency or relevancy but rather based on which special interest groups have the most political clouts. As usual, the average citizen is in the background waiting for the grace of God.
on March 25,2013 | 02:48PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Before wasting more money, make sure DFM knows what its doing and make sure the workers do it the proper way. We don't want to keep fixing the same potholes after every rain.
on March 25,2013 | 03:27PM
hikine wrote:
The Feds only gives subsidy for road work, local government pays the rest. All the previous administrations were DEMOCRATS!
on March 25,2013 | 07:27PM
78R8R wrote:
He was the managing director and acting mayor
on March 25,2013 | 09:19PM
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