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Delayed H-3 sign repair is part of a larger project

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Question: The overhead sign at Exit 14, Kailua, on the H-3 freeway has been down since November 2008. All that remains is the green support structure. What’s the plan — to replace the sign or to remove the support? What’s taking so long?

Answer: The plan is to replace the sign, as well more than two dozen other highway signs.

You should finally see a new sign soon, although we couldn’t nail down a more specific time.

The new overhead sign will be installed as part of a larger project to replace older highway signs with new "retro-reflective signage," said Tammy Mori, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

"These new signs utilize a reflective surface that becomes brightly illuminated by vehicle headlights at any angle, requiring less street lighting and saving on energy costs," she said.

Work to replace 25 signs on the H-3 is "wrapping up," with the exception of the damaged Likelike Highway "1-mile" sign.

Fabricating and installing the overhead sign at Exit 14 will cost about $5,500, Mori said.

Question: It has been nearly six months since the state Department of Transportation completed the Kapolei North-South Road in February, yet there is still no street signage! There is no street signage at the major intersection of North-South Road and Farrington Highway, nor any signs indicating the direction of the H-1 freeway onramps from Farrington Highway. These omissions are made more problematic because the state has closed the Kapolei exit on H-1 eastbound (coming from Waianae) and signs tell drivers to exit at the North-South Road for Kapolei. But once you exit, there is no further signage indicating how to get to Kapolei, Waipahu, Ewa Beach etc. Why is it taking so look to put up some simple street signs?

Answer: Street signs near the Kualakai Parkway Interchange (formerly the North-South Road Interchange) "will be installed shortly," said transportation spokeswoman Tammy Mori.

Even though work on the North-South Road was not completely finished, the interchange was opened to traffic as soon as it was ready for use, to alleviate traffic congestion in the Makakilo-Kapolei area.

Contractors are continuing to finish work "off the road," including work on the signs, Mori said.

Question: When will the Department of Transportation remove the big trees growing out of the beautiful lava rock walls on the H-1 freeway between Kahala Mall and 17th Avenue? At least one is a banyan and the root system is known to damage rock walls. What a pity as those walls must have been so expensive to build!

Answer: We could not see any banyan tree growing out of the retaining wall in the area and neither could the Department of Transportation.

The nearest large tree is a gold tree growing near the mauka end of the Harding Avenue overpass above the freeway, said transportation spokeswoman Tammy Mori.

But that tree is not considered a serious threat because it is far enough away from the retaining walls, she said.

There is shrubbery growing through the rock walls on the mauka side of the freeway, near 17th Avenue. Those shrubs are scheduled to be removed within 90 days or so.

If there is a tree that you believe may damage the walls, call Mori’s office with a precise location. The number is 587-2160 or e-mail dotpao@hawaii.gov.

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 e-mail kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

 

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