Mainland repaving company helps Honolulu mayor fulfill lofty goals

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Aug 13 2013 06:39:53 PM HST

Many of Oahu's roads are in desperate need of repair. Honolulu's mayor has made some lofty promises but can paving companies keep up? KITV4's Lara Yamada introduces us to the newest company in town and its strategy in becoming a major player.

HONOLULU -

Tucked behind Barber's Point, newcomer Road and Highway Builders has taken the unprecedented move of shipping in their business: 55,000 tons of crushed rock every three months.

"It's taken a great commitment from us to get the right people and right resources over here so we can come in and be effective," said Vice President Rick Thompson.

He told KITV a bad economy inspired the company to move resources from Nevada to Hawaii.

And, he said they've found ways to save money, including shipping in a high-grade aggregate that doesn't soak up as much pricey oil.

"By reducing the amount of asphalt we use, it allows us to be competitive," he said.

At the company's Kapolei plant, massive mounds of broken up old pavement sit next to clean, crushed blue rock.

Thompson said 20 percent of the old stuff can safely be mixed with the new aggregate to save money.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell has promised to repave 300 lane miles, every year, for five years, at a cost of 150 million a year.

"We're moving very aggressively and we're not going to stop," said Caldwell in April.

The city's paved 173 lane miles since the start of 2013, with 25 current paving contracts in the works, and more than a dozen more to be doled out in the next two years.

Road and Highway Builders earned give major contracts this year worth $55 million at Wahiawa, Central Mililani, Enchanted Lakes, Waipio Gentry and Beretania Street.

All are expected be completed by 2014.

"It appears we've come in at the right time. The city is making a big commitment to resurface many of the streets on Oahu and we feel we've positioned ourselves in a place where we can meet not only our goals, but also the cities goals.

Thompson said they expect to be earning more contracts next year.

The company is already planning to set up another plant and transfer four more crews.

He said the Wahiawa project is almost complete.

Central Mililani is next, with each project expected to take three to five months.
 

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