It's official... East Oahu has worst city roads

Published On: Mar 11 2013 06:54:43 PM HST   Updated On: Mar 11 2013 09:53:43 PM HST

A report issued last month by the city's Department of Facility Maintenance pinpoints which Honolulu City Council districts have the worst roads on Oahu.

Although East Oahu is known for its upscale neighborhoods and luxury homes, the area has by far the lousiest roads on the island.

"A lot of people do have the misconception that East Honolulu roads are paved better, but they're not," said Councilman Stanley Chang, who represents the area. "We're no better than the island-wide average."

As part of its new Pavement Management System, the city has separated roads into seven categories, while scoring each individual road from zero to 100.

The ratings are as follows: Good (86-100), satisfactory (71-85), fair (56-70), poor (41-55), very poor (26-40), serious (11-25) and failed (0-10).

KITV4 combined the four bottom categories to find out which council districts need the most help with road reconstruction and rehabilitation. District 4 in East Oahu came out on top with 176.77 lane miles.

"There are even a lot of roads that are zeros," said Chang. "The city needs to do a lot more ongoing maintenance, instead of just allowing roads to deteriorate to a zero or failed condition."

The council district rated the second-worst on Oahu according to KITV4's calculations is District 9, which covers areas like Waikele, Mililani Town, and portions of Ewa Villages and Ewa Beach. The district had 147.6 miles rated from poor to failed.

"It's resulted in higher repair costs for residents, and in addition to that, they just look unsightly," said Councilman Ron Menor, who represents District 9. "They clearly need to be resolved and repaired in the future."

In third place for worst roads on the island is council District 3, from Ahuimanu to Waimanalo. The district is represented by Councilman Ikaika Anderson, and has 134.05 miles that are rated poor, very poor, serious or failed.

"Council District 3 in Windward Oahu is the second largest district geographically on the nine-member City Council, and it's also one of the rainiest districts, so there's no surprise there," said Anderson.

However, the area with the most "failed" roads on Oahu is council District 5, which covers Palolo Valley, St. Louis Heights, Manoa, Moiliili, McCully, and portions of Ala Moana, Kakaako, and Makiki. The district has 39.06 miles rated as failed, or 12.13 percent of all roads in the area.

"It is an urban area, so it's greatly used by people all over the island," said Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, who represents District 5. "We've been complaining about (the roads) for years, and hopefully some of that gets fixed soon."

Last month, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell pledged to repave or rehabilitate 1,520 miles of city roads over the next five years. The mayor wants the Council to approve $150 million for the effort in fiscal year 2014, which begins July 1.

But as part of the mayor's plan, Caldwell has proposed increasing the city's gas tax from 16.5 cents per gallon, to 21.5 cents per gallon. Chang believes he and his fellow council members can find money in the city budget to fix roads without raising the fuel tax.

"I think we need to be very, very careful before we start talking about additional tax increases," said Chang. "There are a number of other things in the budget that we're going to try to look at and see if there are potential savings."

Chang was instrumental in getting the Pavement Management System started, and through resolution 12-35, he set the goal of eventually having all city streets average a score of 80, while no single road falls below a score of 60. Chang hopes the city can achieve the milestone in 10 to 15 years.

"Because of the large amounts of funding that we've been fighting for in the budget, I think people can all expect better roads coming, if not now, in the next couple of years," said Chang. "By the end of four years, there should be some extreme and noticeable improvement."

Some council members like Menor plan on using the DFM report as ammunition to get road repairs expedited. Menor says some of the worst roads in his district are not slated for repaving under the mayor's five-year plan.

"I'm going to be working with our City Council Budget Committee to have those roads listed and included in the City Council's version of the budget, so that funds can be made available in the future," Menor told KITV4.

To check out the district-by-district roads report by the Department of Facility Maintenance, click here.

For maps that coincide with the report, click here.


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