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Website details progress of highway work

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Orange fencing strung along the makai side of Queen Kaahumanu Highway points to the start of work to widen the roadway — hard as that may be to believe for residents who have waited for years for signs of activity.

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Orange fencing strung along the makai side of Queen Kaahumanu Highway points to the start of work to widen the roadway — hard as that may be to believe for residents who have waited for years for signs of activity.

The project’s general contractor Goodfellow Bros. Inc. was scheduled to begin installing fence in late May to protect historical and cultural properties during construction. Recovery of archaeological data in the area began last week, according to a website dedicated to the project.

The site has updates, construction plans, a photo gallery and other information available to the public at buildqueenk.com

Goodfellow Bros. is asking for the public’s help to locate the families that have placed a half dozen roadside memorials along Queen Kaahumanu Highway. The memorials will have to be removed before construction can start, and anyone who knows the families is asked to contact Goodfellow Bros. at 887-6511, or have the families contact the contractor directly.

Hawaii Department of Transportation officials expect to issue a notice to proceed in August or September for widening the 5.2-mile stretch between Kealakehe Parkway and Kona International Airport from two lanes to four. The work will include traffic signals at all intersections with left turns to or from the highway, drainage, lighting, bike lanes and pedestrian crossings. DOT intends to finish the $100 million job in two years.

The plans for the the work and its impacts to traffic will be detailed in a public informational meeting to be held at least a month before the work starts, according to the DOT.

Major grading and utility work will lead off construction on the makai side of the highway north of Hina Lani to the airport during a four-month period. Trucks will be entering and leaving the roadway, but otherwise, traffic patterns and turning movements are not expected to be affected.

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That graded area will be paved and the grading and utility work will be extended south of Hina Lani in a second stage expected to take another five months. Temporary lanes shifts at side streets will occur during this stage.

Pedestrians and bicycles will have continued access to the road during all phases of construction, according to the project’s mandates. The Ironman Triathlon will also not be affected by the work, with an “Ironman Corridor” to be put in place three weeks before the race and kept open for training and other cycling.

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