Story by Karen Iwamoto on 10/12/2017WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD According to a 2016 study by the AAA, two-thirds of American drivers are concerned about potholes on their local roads.
Here on U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii, where military-grade vehicles regularly traverse surface roads along with everyday passenger vehicles, concerns about road conditions come up frequently at community meetings. The following are just a few comments from the past year of USAG-HI Facebook Townhall events:
"When is something going to get done with the road leading to Wiliwili?"
"Will the potholes along Waianae Avenue ever be filled? They are terrible and unavoidable."
"Can better quality road work be done? there are giant holes opening up on the roads, getting a quick patch job and then within a week there is either a new giant hole or the original opened right back up."
The good news is that the Directorate of Public Works has made progress on repairing, repaving and reconstructing many of USAG-HI's worst roads.
"Over this past year, repairing and repaving our installation roadways has been a top garrison priority," said Col. Stephen Dawson, commander of USAG-HI. "We've heard from many of you who live and work here on the condition of our roads, and have put resources and manpower toward this effort."
During fiscal year 2017, which began in October 2016 and wrapped up at the end of September, DPW worked on upgrading almost a dozen roads, including significant portions of Waianae Avenue, Lyman Road, Flagler Road and Lauhala Road.
About a dozen more are in the process of being brought up to date.
Beyond patching potholes
These road projects go beyond quick patching of potholes, said Dean Miyamoto, an engineer with DPW's Project Management Branch, and Stephen Ibaraki, an engineer with DPW's Construction Management branch. In many cases, crews are pulling up the asphalt and re-building the roads to current traffic standards that require that the roads' surfaces be made thicker than in decades past to accommodate increase in traffic flow.
With proper maintenance, the roads should last for another 15 to 20 years, Miyamoto and Ibaraki said.
Motorists should be aware of traffic delays and lane closures while the roadwork continues. The Hawaii Army Weekly publishes a rundown of traffic delays and lane closures in the "Traffic" section of the paper.
"We ask that the community please be patient," Ibaraki said. "We are working on fixing these roads and in some cases that will take time."
Road Repairs Completed FY17
(Cost: Approximately $6 million)
Kolekole Road, between Humphreys
and Cadet Sheridan roads
Air Assault Road
Lyman Road, between Humphreys
Road and Hewitt Street
Flagler Road, between Lyman
and Kolekole roads
Wheeler Army Airfield
Ayres Avenue between Kame
hameha Highway and McCormack
Grimes Street between
Williston and trailer
between Hewitt and Carpenter streets
McMahon Road between Wright-Smith
Avenue and Beaver Road
Wheeler Army Airfield
Annex Road between Mokumoa Street
and gate entrance to motorpool
Pierce Street between Montgomery
Road and B435/B438