Kalanianaole work still on track for 2020 completion

  • Construction on Kalanianaole Avenue in Hilo is scheduled to be complete by late 2020. (Tribune-Herald file photo)

Roadwork and safety improvements along Kalanianaole Avenue are still on track to be completed in the latter part of 2020, the county Department of Public Works said Monday.

A joint effort of the state Department of Transportation and county, the work is being done to enhance roadway capacity and operations as well as safety for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, Public Works spokeswoman Denise Laitinen said in an email.

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According to Laitinen, work will widen Kalanianaole Avenue from Kanoelehua Avenue to Kuhio Street to allow for a concrete sidewalk on the makai side, a paved shoulder on the mauka side, bicycle lanes in each direction, one through lane in each direction, a shared turn lane and installation of a 12-inch diameter waterline.

So far, Laitinen said the mauka side of Kalanianaole Avenue has been widened, except for areas pending underground utility relocation, while the construction of the concrete sidewalk on the makai side is about 68% complete and drainage improvements in multiple places is 47% complete.

Laitinen said excavation for the sidewalk adjacent to Ice Pond continues and utility line repair at this location has been completed.

A new water service lateral for Kuhio Kalanianaole Park has also been completed.

Over the next two weeks, Laitinen said work will continue on the sidewalk and driveways fronting Verna’s Drive In, 76 gas station and Ice Pond, as well as installation of a drainage catch basin at Ocean Front Kitchen.

According to Laitinen, conflicts with existing underground utilities are a recurring challenge for work crews.

The $18.4 million project began in March 2018 with an anticipated completion date of October 2020, weather and construction conditions permitting.

The original project budget was nearly $17.1 million, with the County’s costs totaling just more than $12 million and the state’s costs totaling nearly $5.1 million.

While a change order was added for a waterline running from Verna’s Drive In to the harbor, bringing the overall cost of the project to $18.4 million, the county’s cost has remained the same.

Laitinen said the public should stay away from the barricaded work areas near Ice Pond, where people often jump into the water, while the sidewalk is constructed.

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“For safety’s sake, people of all ages are reminded to keep away from the (barricaded) work areas and the pipe railing while work is performed,” she said.

Email Stephanie Salmons at ssalmons@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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