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Kawailani Street work nearly done

Almost two years after work began, the Kawailani Street road project in Hilo is nearing completion.

The county Department of Public Works will energize and test the traffic signals today at the Kawailani Street and Iwalani Street intersection and the intersection of Kawailani, Ainaola Drive and Pohakulani Street.

Motorists should drive with caution as signals will be in “flash” mode for 24 hours. Lights will flash yellow on Kawailani and red on Iwalani, Ainaola Drive and Pohakulani.

The traffic signals are set to be operational Wednesday.

Once those lights are activated, the project will be “substantially complete,” but some minor work will remain, such as grouted rubble paving, minor striping and signage, said Barett Otani, an executive assistant for Mayor Harry Kim.

While all costs have not been finalized, Otani said the total price tag for the project should be about $19 million.

“Safety will definitely improve,” he said about the work. “The two traffic signals will be coordinated so traffic flows as smoothly as possible. There will be an initial adjustment period when the traffic signal timing will be adjusted based on field observations.”

It’s “good to see a project completed on budget and on time (including the unworkable days),” he added.

Work began in March 2017.

Otani said previously that work originally was estimated to be finished at the end of 2018, but in May, the completion date was pushed back to January of this year.

The project also included grading; paving; installing drainage improvements, water mains, retaining walls, and street lighting; constructing sidewalks, curbs and gutters, driveways, curb ramps and paved swales; and installing pavement markings and signs.

Email Stephanie Salmons at
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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