'Roller coaster' road in Wahiawa has city managers scratching their heads

Published On: Apr 10 2014 06:50:00 PM HST

It's brand new and even bumpier.

In December, city crews completed $10 million in much needed road work in Wahiawa, but one drag in particular, is catching the wrong kind of attention, and some people are upset we're paying to fix the problem.

Click here to watch Lara Yamada's report.

"Then you're coming up and it's like riding a roller coaster that's going up and down all the way," said Wahiawa resident Bob Hirayama.

It's not what you expect on a newly paved road. 

"You feel it in your back," said Iliwai Drive resident Robert Alameda. 

Contractor Road & Highway Builders told KITV4 that almost immediately after road crews repaved Iliwai Drive sections of it started to sink.

They said it's not like the sink holes riddling Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki, but more like long straight lines, they said, close to 30 of them, rippling down the road. 

The company believes it has something to do with what was put there before. 

Project managers think maybe water, sewer lines, or utility lines that were put in decades ago, were not properly compressed down, so when the new road came in it compressed and created a ripple effect. 

"Something sank underneath the surface, like a pipe going across," said Hirayama. 

"I thought it was sunken water lines, or sunken sewer lines," said Chris Takashige, who is the city and county of Honolulu's  Design and Construction Director. 

Bob Hirayama believes it and Takashige said, yeah, maybe. 

"We would have had the problem long ago," Alameda said. 

But good luck convincing Alameda, who said he watched road crews cycle between trucks and thinks a poor transition created the bumps. 

"So now, the only choice is we've got to dig it back up to find out what's wrong," said Takashige. 

"They're gonna do it again?" said Hirayama.

"Eh? Is that right? Oh my goodness!" said Iliwai Drive resident Betty Kono. 

"They're gonna dig up the whole road? Yeah, but at whose expense? No. No way," said Alameda. 

It's no surprise people aren't happy about footing the bill, but Takashige said, initially, the finished job passed inspection. 

As for the cost, he said 10 percent in already allotted contingency funds should cover it.

It's a price that at least some residents said they're willing to pay. 

"Anything for improvement," said Kono. 

The city is hoping to get the project done sometime this summer. 

Takashige said if underground pipes are the problem, it may require something like a mesh cover or a metal bridge over the pipes to keep the surface from sinking again.

Contractors told KITV4 they did see what appeared to be similar problems, but not as bad, happen to a few other roads nearby. 

Takashige believes it would not be reasonable to redo those roads too. 

Iliwai Road2

Iliwai Road2

Iliwai Road2


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