Detour opens today around Pahoa roundabout project

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Several weeks after work began on the Big Island’s first roundabout project, a significant change to traffic patterns is beginning.

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Several weeks after work began on the Big Island’s first roundabout project, a significant change to traffic patterns is beginning.

A construction detour located near mile marker 10 on Highway 130 goes into effect today.

The detour route sends motorists past the roundabout construction site and through a temporary traffic signal at the intersection of Kahaki Boulevard and Pahoa Village Road. The Pahoa Bypass Road will be closed between Kahaki and the Pahoa Marketplace.

“All traffic will be routed through the detour 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” state Department of Transportation spokesman Timothy Sakahara said in an email.

Sakahara said, weather permitting, the detour will be in effect until approximately May 2016.

A department notice regarding the project advised drivers to plan for additional time needed to pass through the detour and intersections.

Construction on the detour portion of the project began two months later than expected, on Oct. 12, after an initial delay because of a paperwork filing error.

The roundabout itself, located at the intersection of Highway 130 and Highway 11, has been in the works since 2011 after a DOT study found it was one of the most dangerous intersections in the state, with 40 major accidents occurring between 2004 and 2007.

The $4.8 million project was awarded to Isemoto Contracting, and is state-funded.

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Initial estimates for the completion timetable were 180 working days, or about nine months, from the start date. If the remainder of the project progresses on schedule, the roundabout should be complete in July next year.

Email Ivy Ashe at iashe@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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