Aging asphalt on Oahu could be rejuvenated

Published On: Jun 27 2012 11:16:04 PM HST   Updated On: Jun 28 2012 07:17:34 AM HST

Many Oahu drivers are aware of the island's pothole problems and splintering streets. Some want the rough roads repaved, but city leaders hope new techniques they are evaluating will make streets smoother while extending the life of well-traveled roads.

Cars passing in front of Tyronne Temanaha's Honolulu home have to swerve to avoid potholes and broken patches of pavement.

"I am a person that doesn't like potholes, so let's try to fix this," said Temanaha.

Temanaha isn't the only one who wants action to take place on our streets.

"Roads complaints are, by far, the number one complaint I've gotten over the past two-and-a-half years," said Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang.

To help smooth out the rage over Oahu's roads, city leaders are evaluating various pavement preservation techniques.

By sealing cracks, water won't get underneath the roads and turn them into bumpy boulevards.

"You have to have a truck or something to ride over these roads, all the little cars are getting beat up," said Honolulu resident Batchelor Tukumoeatu.

The city spent $1 million dollars to test the various road coatings, which cover up cracks and claim to make streets last longer.  There are also new techniques that claim to keep the streets from coming apart in the first place.

A product called a fog seal adds asphalt to aging roads and reportedly extends the life of streets by one to three years.

This year, $100 million will be spent on road repairs.  But, some want to spend more of that money on preventative maintenance to keep roads from cracking open, which could end up costing more.

"Instead of spending $1 million a lane mile to reconstruct a terrible road, we can spend a tenth of that or less to do these periodic upgrades and keep these roads good forever," said Chang.

That would mean more road maintenance work, but it could get rid of many potholes problem areas.

"The hope is to get roads in need of repair tended to early and save reconstruction for the roads that cannot be repaired," said Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle.

While the city evaluates the effectiveness of the new sealing techniques, it will also undergo a pavement management program, which inventories all roads and their condition to see where the new treatments should be used.


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