Kīlauea, Kamehameha Highlight Hilo Road Projects
Two major Hilo thoroughfares are receiving improvements this year, as bridge work and utility relocations are ongoing. And in an effort to maximize the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s potential as an economic engine for East Hawai‘i, a project to build a new road to better connect Hilo is on the horizon.
Beginning in May, Hilo’s Kamehameha Avenue will undergo a $12 million reconstruction project. The four lane road, which runs along Hilo’s Bayfront, will be improved from Pauahi Street to the Wailoa Bridge. The work will include drainage improvements, sidewalk and curb reconstruction, street lights, and a traffic signal upgrade at the intersection with Pauahi Street.
A block mauka, a $1.5 million construction project on Kīlauea Avenue from Ponahawai Street to Pauahi Street is ongoing. That project includes rebuilding the pavement, curbs, and sidewalks, drainage improvements at the intersection with Kukuau Street, and solar-powered crosswalk lights. That project is expected to be complete in March, just in time for the Merrie Monarch Festival’s annual parade which traverses Kīlauea.
The Reed’s Island Bridge in Hilo is undergoing structural work to bring the bridge into compliance with modern load capacity and earthquake standards. The current weight limit is six tons, and when construction is completed in 2014, the bridge will have no weight restrictions. The $6.4 million project was awarded to ABHE & Svoboda, Inc. The wooden deck will be replaced with steel beams and a steel grating deck. Concrete rock anchors and micro piles will be installed to strengthen and increase load-bearing capacity. Ka‘iulani Street was extended to meet Hale and Kahema Streets as the detour route during the bridge closure.
In another ongoing Hilo project, Hawaiian Telcom and the County are relocating utilities on West Kawailani Street in preparation for future work on Kawailani from Kanoelani to Kuhilani Street, and portions of ‘Āinaola. The $1 million project, 80 percent federally funded with the remaining 20 percent funded by the County is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2013.
The County is determined to help grow UH Hilo, an economic driver for East Hawai‘i. Kapi‘olani Street will be extended a half mile to close the gap between Mohouli and Lanikāula Streets. The extension will open land for the school to expand and provide new educational and job opportunities for our residents. It will also provide improve traffic flow by providing an alternative route to Kino‘ole Street and Kīlauea Avenue. Construction plans include building drainage infrastructure, utility relocation, traffic signals, and improvements at two intersections, and a concrete bridge across Waiākea Stream. That project will be out to bid in late 2013.