New State Highway Data Now Available on HDOT Website

The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Highways Division recently added useful datasets to its website.

Screen shot image of HDOT map. Hawaii Department of Transportation.

The public can now view pavement conditions and average annual daily traffic volume for state roads on all islands, and view the locations of fatal traffic crashes from 2012 to 2016. The new data also provides monthly updates on current and future road projects.

In July, HDOT released a user-friendly map that shows the schedule, scope, and estimated cost for all current State Highways projects as well as all projects planned to begin construction in the next two years.

“We’re sharing the data we’ve collected with the public in the interest of transparency,” said HDOT Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “Now members of the public can easily access highways safety and other helpful information that is used to guide our programs.”

The new data shows Average Annual Daily Traffic as the total volume of vehicle traffic over a road over the course of a year divided by 365 days. HDOT gathers AADT through a combination of permanent, in-ground traffic counting stations, overhead cameras, and temporary traffic counters or tubes.

The Fatal Crash data is compiled from completed traffic investigation reports. To be considered a motor vehicle fatality in the state of Hawaiʻi, a fatal crash must involve a motor vehicle traveling on a traffic way customarily open to the public and must result in a death of at least one person (occupant of a vehicle or a non-motorist) within 30 days of the crash. The data is provided for highway safety and educational purposes only.

According to the data, 495 fatal crashes occurred in the state of Hawaiʻi between 2012 to 2016. The primary contributing factor to 188 (38%) of those crashes was alcohol. Drugs was the contributing factor to 90 (18%) of those crashes, followed by speeding resulting in 52 (10.5%) of the fatal crashes.

According to HDOT data, on Hawaiʻi island there were 112 fatal crashes that occurred between 2012 and 2016. Alcohol was the primary factor in 41 (36.6%) of the fatalities, followed by drugs with 26 (23.2%).

Pavement condition data is gathered through Laser Crack Measurement System, a remote sensing method that compiles three-dimensional information, such as cracking or rutting, on roadways. The LCMS data HDOT uses is gathered by a vehicle mounted unit that drives over state roads on a biennial basis (each individual road under state jurisdiction is surveyed once every other year).

The majority of roads on Hawaiʻi island were considered fair.

Datasets such as the pavement conditions and average annual daily traffic figures will be updated on an annual basis. HDOT says fatal crash data is updated as traffic incident reports are finalized and the last year of available data is 2016.

The ESRI powered map is currently optimized for the Chrome browser. Questions or comments on the map may be sent to DOTPAO@hawaii.gov

Hawaii County Department of Public Works Request for Support Letters for Kea’au – Pahoa Road TIGER Grant Application

Aloha Big Island ‘Ohana!

Please assist the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation, Division of Highways, Hawaii District with a support letter for their Pahoa Road Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant Application. I have attached DPW’s letter of support for your reference.

As support for the project is very important to the effort, we ask that you respond with a formal letter stating your support for the project. We ask that you respond by Thursday, October 12, 2017. Support letters can be emailed to: donald.l.smith@hawaii.gov

Please contact Donald Smith if you have any questions at (808)933-8866.

Mahalo,
Barett Otani, Hawaii County Department of Public Works

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Parts of Shower Drive and Pohaku Drive to Close Saturday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 8 for Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) announces the following traffic modifications in the Hawaiian Paradise Park neighborhood this weekend as part of the ongoing Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion, Phase 2.

SATURDAY, OCT. 7, 6 A.M. TO 6 P.M.

  • Shower Drive from Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) to 28th Avenue will be closed to thru traffic.
  • Lane shift on Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) in both directions in the vicinity of the Shower Drive/Pohaku Drive intersection.

SUNDAY, OCT. 8, 6 A.M. TO 6 P.M.

  • Pohaku Drive from Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) to Pohaku Circle will be closed to thru traffic.
  • Lane shift on Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) in both directions in the vicinity of the Shower Drive/Pohaku Drive intersection.

Hawaii County has been notified and emergency vehicles will use alternate routes, if necessary, as the work involves milling of the existing roadway and fill with hot mix asphalt.

Use of the hot mix asphalt and extended weekend work hours will allow HDOT to complete the necessary paving in this area in one weekend versus over the course of a week.

Electronic message boards notifying the public of this weekend’s work will be posted in the area of the planned closures.

Hele-On (The Bus) Community Meetings in Puna

In 2010 Fourth District County Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi received a grant check for $7.2 million on behalf of the County of Hawai‘i from U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye to fund mass transit improvements

I received the following from Councilwoman Jen Ruggles:

Aloha Kakou,

We are putting out the call to all the people in Puna that have ideas to improve our Hele-on Bus System. Now is the time to bring your needs and ideas forth.

This is the first of two rounds of meetings meant to guide the county in making its first ever 20 year Master Transit Plan. MARK YOUR CALENDAR to make one of the following meetings:

  • October 11th at 6pm at Kea’au Community Center 16-186 Pili Mua St. Kea’au HI 96749.
  • October 12th at 6pm at Pahoa Community Facility 15-2910 Kuahala St. Pahoa HI 96778.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Now is the time to show our need for:

  1. More bus routes.
  2. Expanded routes into subdivisions
  3. Your ideas for improvements

Need a ride? Call Jo-Anna at 808-356-1260 to arrange a ride at least 5 days prior to the event. If you cannot attend, please submit your suggestions to heleonsuggestions@ssfm.com.

Hawaii Representative Responds on Why She Voted Yes With Reservations During Special Legislative Session


Hawaii Island Representative Joy SanBuenventura posted the following response on her Facebook page as to why she voted Yes (with reservations) on the recent controversial rail bill:

Representative Joy SanBuenaventura

“Why I voted Yes with Reservations: For the reason I voted no in 2015 because I did not like the rail fiasco, I don’t trust Caldwell’s numbers & the amendment to exempt neighbor island from TAT surcharge (which I voted for and spoke up for) overwhelmingly failed. The 2015 rail bill passed which led to the rock & hard place we are in now: If this current bill failed by 9/15, we would be stuck with an $800 million bill to fed govt (That’s why Hanabusa and Schatz stepped in when they stayed away previously – they saw that the leg was willing to let rail fail by our lack of agreement when 2017 session ended & our unwillingness to schedule a special session- the special session was scheduled at the last possible minute prior to 9/15 fed deadline & only after Hanabusa & Schatz stepped in). We no longer have Dan Inouye nor President Obama and our fed legislators keep speaking out against trump- so fed relationships needed to be retained with the day-to-day non-appointees who actually administer the fed grant $. Hanabusa & Schatz were concerned that if rail died, ALL our fed grants are subject to re-review. Half our highways our funded by feds, including Hwy 130. Someone needs to keep nagging DoT so that Hwy 130 doesn’t lose its place in the STIP and I didn’t want to give DoT another excuse not to fund 4-lanes (they already allowed the $15 mil for the alternate access to lapse & they already blame me for the failure of the gas tax they wanted in 2016 session). DoT was in every rail hearing even if sometimes they don’t testify.

The TAT was always a state tax created in 1986 to help the tourist industry create a convention center and to advertise Hawaii as a destination. In 1991 various grants were given to the counties so that they can promote their own tourism on their island. The big island gets 18.6% of the county share (at least 4% more than we are entitled to because Harvey Tajiri who was once finance chair juiced it) – with this county vs. state debate, a tracking-down of where the money is generated is going to occur and I suspect the big island will lose this advantage because our visitor count shows only 14% of visitor arrivals vs. statewide. The huge pressure to vote “no” has already cost the Big Island to lose statewide power when Cindy Evans lost her majority leadership position – so this huge pressure to vote “no” when the “yes” votes were going to win only led the big island to a worse bargaining position when state monies are used for grants and capital improvements. Most neighbor island reps supported the amendment making this an Oahu-only TAT but we were overwhelmingly outvoted – so the “yes” votes were going to win regardless.

The current bill was a compromise between the 2 chambers & the hotel/tourist industry – It was originally 2-3% of TAT. It was meant to export the tax to tourists after Caldwell’s testimony that tourists paid for most of it and Hanneman stating that 90-99% of hotels are rented to out-of -state residents. The original neighbor island tax referred to in Civil Beat was a statewide GE surcharge which option was soundly rejected by all. TAT is deductible by residents but GE is mostly deductible based upon income. Moreover, I felt this bill was a move towards a more equitable tax away from the regressive GE which is a tax on everything and is paid by everyone including those who cannot afford a hotelroom. Everyone was already paying the Oahu GE surcharge without knowing it because the GE is a tax on wholesale items and even on the tax itself that’s why its 4.1666666 not just 4%.

As to lack of notice: Unless there is a constitutional amendment for a year-long legislative session, this lack of notice will always be a problem because we have 60 days to parse through hundreds of bills and every year we asked for funding for neighbor island residents to testify, we lose. The rail bill like all bills had the 48-hour notice and in this case because there was a special session, it got even more notice than the other bills; and frankly, I called a certain councilperson when this bill was going through the transportation committee in the original session as to the county position before it got to the yes or no stage – but got no response back (I suspect she did not want to violate the sunshine law by just polling members & the mayor on interim positions before getting back to me). Again I remain committed to lessen the burden on local B-n-B’s caused by this bill by introducing a bill next session and I invite the local b-n-b’s to give me a proposed draft of such a bill.”

 

Celebration of Life and Silent Auction Planned for Ernest Jackson

Ernest James Jackson was killed tragically in a motorcycle accident August 24, 2017 in Pahoa HI. He leaves behind his wife Jenn and his 3 children: Jamar, Tristan, and Amora.

His Celebration of Life will be Saturday September 2, 2017, 1pm until 4pm, at the E-Max building, Kalani Honua Resort, 12-6860 Kalapana-Kapoho road, Pahoa.

There will be a silent auction in conjunction with the Celebration of Life, with the proceeds going to Ernest’s children. We are accepting all manner of donations for the auction; massages, watsu, art, meals, vacation packages, jewelry, personal services, etc.

If you would like to donate something for the auction, please contact the organizers Kevin Horton and Misti Johnson.

Contact:
Kevin Horton/Misti Johnson
Kalapana100@yahoo.com
PH: 808-965-1084
FaceBook: Kevin Horton

Community Forum to Discuss Puna Roads

Representative Joy San Buenaventura will host a Community Forum on Saturday, September 9, at the Hawaiian Paradise Park Activity Center. The panel will include representatives from the Department of Transportation, Hawaii County Council, and the Hawaii County Department of Public Works.

  • WHEN: Saturday, September 9, 1:30 – 4:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Hawaiian Paradise Park Activity Center, 15-1570 Makuu Dr, Keaau, HI 96749

Panelists will speak about the condition of roads in Puna and provide progress updates for highway 130 and other roads. The event is free and open to the public with seating space assigned on a first come basis.

Man Charged in Connection with Theft of County Mass Transit Bus

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged 21-year-old Kawelo Nakamura in connection with the theft of a county mass transit bus.

Kawelo Nakamura

On (August 6), at 3:43 p.m., police located the bus on Route 130 and was able to stop it near the intersection at Kaohuwalu Street in Pāhoa, at which time officers arrested Nakamura who was its operator.

Photo by Daichi Marquis

On (August 7), police charged Nakamura with first degree theft, accident involving vehicle/property damage, first degree criminal property damage, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and driving without a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Photo from Kawika Tokita on Facebook.

Nakamura is being held at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $13,000 bail pending his initial appearance in South Hilo district court (August 8).

Kiki Lane stated the following on Facebook which lead to the arrest: “”The bus” just over took us on railroad and side swiped my mirror and kept driving, my kids are freaking out and this piece of shit didn’t even stop! police were called! Keep on the look out bus number 342 and license plate Ch3439″….
“Update: just spoke to the police “the bus” that hit me was a stolen bus!
bus number 342 and license plate Ch3439
Please be on the look out and stay out of his way!”

Police initially responded to a 1:47 p.m., report (August 5), of a hit-and-run traffic accident on Railroad Avenue in Hilo involving a Hawaiʻi County mass transit bus that fled the scene. No one was injured in that incident. At 2:36 p.m., police were informed that the bus was stolen from the County’s Hilo base-yard sometime early Saturday morning.

Witnesses saw him earlier down at 4-mile Beach in Keaukaha earlier in the morning. Photo from Kawika Tokita Facebook Account.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have any other information about it is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Tuckloy Aurello of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2385 or Tuckloy.Aurello@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

About Pahoa’s New Library

Well it looks like Pahoa will be getting a new library!

In a Mayor Kim response letter to State Librarian Stacey A. Aldrich dated July 26th 2017,  Kim stated that the county fully supports a new public library for Pahoa and would allow it at the existing location where the Pahoa Police and Fire Station currently exists on Highway 130 as long as there is a separate access that wouldn’t interfere with emergency response vehicles.

Big Island Police Identify Man in Keaau Fatal Accident

Police have identified the man who died from injuries sustained in a single-vehicle crash Monday (May 22) on Highway 11, merging from the Keaʻau bypass (Highway 130) in Keaʻau.

He was identified as 71- year-old Ulysses Guillermo of Hilo.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-8119. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Update on Today’s Fatality in Keaau

A man died following a one-vehicle crash this morning (May 22) in Keaʻau.

His name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of his family.

Responding to an 8:06 a.m. call, police determined that a 1998 Toyota truck was traveling Hilo bound, merging from the Keaʻau bypass (Highway 130) onto Highway 11 when the driver lost control, ran up an embankment and overturned.

The man died on the scene and was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 11:02 a.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-8119. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the 16th traffic fatality this year compared with 10 at this time last year.

Puna Community Meeting on Transportation Options

The public is invited to learn about new rideshare technologies using a smartphone that can provide Puna with much needed jobs and rides. Council member Jen Ruggles will be hosting a community meeting on new transportation opportunities this Thursday, May 25th at 6pm at the Keaau Community Center.

“Dependable, safe, and convenient transportation is a critical need in our district,” said Ms. Ruggles, “there is a public transportation planning process currently underway. In order for Puna’s complex needs to be met we need to improve our bus system and welcome alternative transportation methods.”

Hawaii County’s new director of Mass Transit, Curtis Sharp, will also be there to give an update on the status of the bus system, the new master plan, and to answer questions. Representatives from transportation network companies Uber and Lyft, who have already started recruiting drivers on the Big Island, will give a short presentation and answer questions.

“Considering half our bus fleet is out of service, we have an exciting new opportunity with Uber and Lyft just coming to the Big Island. I want to make sure the community has a chance to take full advantage of it.”

Snacks and refreshments will be provided. For more information contact the office of Jen Ruggles at 808-961-8263.

Man Dies in Keaau Accident

I just drove by the following scene and this is the Hawaii Fire Department press release on what happened.

Situation Found at Scene:

Found 1 male unresponsive with weak pulse and not breathing, with massive head injury. Vehicle flipped on the drivers side, with driver partially pinned in vehicle.

Photo by Craig Watanabe

Cause:
Motor Vehicle Accident

Remarks:
Upon arrival found 1 male driver unresponsive with weak pulse and massive head injury, utilized extrication and stabilization tools to safely extricate patient.  After extrication, patient examined with no signs of life, base station MD notified. Patient left on scene in HPD custody who will await body removal.

HPD and Hwy. Division on scene for clean up and traffic control.

Big Island Police Identify Man Killed in Keaau Car Crash

Police have identified the man who died from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash Sunday night (May 14) on Highway 130, near the Shower Drive and Pōhaku Drive intersection in Keaʻau.
He was identified through fingerprints as 31-year-old Travis Serquina of Keaʻau.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-8118. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion Update

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) provides the following update on the Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion, Phase 2, Shower Drive Intersection Improvements project. Work has temporarily been stopped and is anticipated to resume in early June.

Keaau to Pahoa Highway Map Plans from a few years ago.

Construction has been temporarily stopped as HDOT is in the process of obtaining a new permit for this project which is designed to improve traffic flow in Puna through the installation of a permanent north bound shoulder lane and a temporary south bound shoulder lane between mile posts 4.15 and 4.25 of Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) and installation of a traffic signal at the Keaau-Pahoa Road/Shower Drive intersection. The Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion, Phase 2, Shower Drive Intersection Improvements project also involves relocation of water system facilities and utility poles as well as installation of pavement markings, striping, and signage.

The contractor for Phase 2 began work in January 2017 using a permit that was obtained for Phase 1 of the shoulder lane conversion project. This permit expired during the Phase 2 construction. HDOT anticipates receiving the new permit within 40 days and is revising the estimated completion date for this project to mid-November.

Further updates will be available on the HDOT Highways Division website (http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/) under the Major Projects tab.

Hawaii Civil Defense Lava Flow Update

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reports the active lava flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the East Rift Zone is entering the ocean at Kamokuna located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Additional surface flows are active near Puʻu ʻŌʻō and more recently moving beyond the National Park eastern boundary onto private property near the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Bright incandescence is visible from the active lava flow field, and the lava flow does not pose a threat to any community at this time.

This image is from a research camera positioned on Holei Pali, looking east towards Lava Flow 61G and Kalapana.

To maintain public safety and to extend the use of the emergency road or Highway 130, the County of Hawai‘i opened the emergency road to lava viewing since June 30, 2016. Vehicular traffic on the emergency road is limited to local residents and emergency vehicles, and is being monitored by security guards posted along the viewing area. The road is unpaved and surrounded on all sides by rough lava flows on private property. Public access is restricted to the graded roadway and viewers are asked to please respect private property and the rights of local residents.

The “firehose flow” at Kīlauea Volcano’s Kamokuna ocean entry was clearly visible from the public lava viewing area established by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The viewing area is 800 meters (about one-half mile) from the ocean entry, but affords excellent views of the lava flow. HVO Photo

Visitors need to be aware of the following reminders:

  • Viewing area hours are from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily, with the last car allowed to park at 9:00 p.m.
  • It is about 8.5 miles round-trip from end of the pavement on Highway 130 to the ocean entry at Kamokuna and back. The flow can be seen starting from just beyond the parking lot all along the viewing area route.
  • Restroom facilities are limited and lack running water.
  • All members of your party should dress appropriately with boots or sturdy, covered shoes, long pants and a hat.
  • Be prepared for rain, wind, sun, heat and dust exposure.
  • Bring lots of water (1-2 liters per person), there is no potable water available.
  • Bring a flashlight for walking at night.

Our goal is to maintain public safety, protect the interests of Kalapana residents, and extend the use of the emergency road or Highway 130.  We ask for your patience and kokua (help).

Partial Road Closure of Highway 130 (Hilo Bound Lane) Next Week

Hawaii Electric Light announces the partial closure of the Hilo-bound lanes on Keaau-Pahoa Road from Monday, Feb. 6, to Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017.

The makai side of the road, about 1,000 feet before Shower Drive, will be closed to traffic from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Pahoa-bound lanes on the mauka side of the road will be open for two-way traffic flow. Traffic control officers will be on site. Motorists are advised to drive with caution and plan for delays.

This week, Hawaii Electric Light crews installed four hurricane-class transmission poles ranging from 75-90 feet and weighing up to six tons. Next week, crews will complete the transfer of power lines and equipment from the existing poles to the new poles. The completion will allow the state of Hawaii to install traffic signals at the intersection of Keaau-Pahoa Road and Shower Drive as part of its road widening improvement project.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

Big Island Police Identify Victim in Thursday’s Crash in Pahoa

Hawaiʻi Island police have identified the man who died from injuries sustained in a two- vehicle crash Thursday night (January 5) on Highway 130, between Leilani Avenue and Malama Street in Pāhoa.
He was identified through fingerprints as 37-year-old Michael Simmons of O’Brien, Oregon.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-8118. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Man Dies in Two-Vehicle Crash on Highway 130

An unidentified man died following a two-vehicle crash Thursday night (January 5) in Pāhoa. His name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of his family.

Responding to a 6:54 p.m. call, police determined that a 2004 Ford pickup truck had been heading Kalapana-bound on Highway 130 between Leilani Avenue and Malama Street and had been making a U-turn in the roadway when it was struck by a 1998 Ford passenger van traveling Pāhoa-bound.

The unidentified man was a back-seat passenger of the pickup. Medics took him to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 7:55 p.m.

An adult female back-seat passenger of the pickup was also taken to Hilo Medical Center by medics and was being treated for her injuries. She remains in stable condition.

The driver of the pickup, a 74-year old Pāhoa woman, was treated for her injuries at the scene.

The front-seat passenger of the van, a 7-year old Pāhoa girl, was taken to Hilo Medical Center by medics and then flown in stable condition to Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu.

The back-seat passenger of the van, a 65-year old Pāhoa woman, was taken by medics to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of her injuries. She remains in stable condition.

The driver of the passenger van, 30-year-old Justin Clark of Pāhoa, was arrested for DUI, driving without a license and driving without insurance. Police took him to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

After conferring with the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, police released Clark pending further investigation.

Police have initiated a negligent homicide investigation in connection with this crash. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police believe that alcohol and speed were factors in this crash.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-8118. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the first traffic fatality this year compared with none at this time last year.

Hawaii State Highway Bonds Sale Secures $247 Million, Saves State More Than $22 Million

On Aug. 10, 2016, the State of Hawai‘i successfully sold $204.485 million in Highway Revenue Bonds at the lowest interest rate in the history of the state’s Highway Revenue Bond Program. The sale raised $247.581 million.

Highways DivisionApproximately $120 million of the bond sale proceeds will be used to fund various highway projects throughout the state and about $127 million of the proceeds will be used to refinance existing state bonds. The refinancing will reduce debt service payments and save more than $22 million in interest costs.

“This financing is a tremendous success for the state, enabling continued investment in our infrastructure at a very affordable borrowing cost,” said Gov. David Ige. The low interest rates achieved demonstrate bond investors’ confidence in Hawai‘i’s economic strength and its continued practice of sound fiscal management. This is the result of years of discipline and conservative fiscal management.”

Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Service and Fitch Ratings affirmed the state’s strong bond ratings of “Aa2”, “AA+” and “AA,” respectively. Each rating agency also attached “stable” outlooks on their ratings, indicating secure future economic and financial trends for Hawai‘i. Rating agencies cited the stability and diversity of revenue streams that are pledged as security for the bonds, as one of the key strengths of the credit.  Other strengths cited include strong legal provisions, high debt service coverage, and stable revenue trends, particularly in those sectors that are less reliant on economic activity.

The marketing plan for the bonds included investor presentations, both in-person in Hawai‘i and on the mainland, as well as internet-based presentations and conference calls. The extended marketing generated strong demand for the bonds from institutional investors.

There was very strong demand for the bonds by both Hawai‘i and national investors. Orders for the bonds amounted to 4.5 times the amount available for sale. The strong demand resulted in net interest rates on the bonds that ranged from 0.50 to 2.50 percent, with the average net interest rate less than 2.25 percent. This is the lowest rate the state has achieved since starting the Highway Revenue Bond Program in 1993.

“The success of the recent bond sale and the low interest rate on the offering is due in no small part to the hard work of the Highways Division in adhering to its sound fiscal and debt management policies,” said Ford Fuchigami, director, Hawai‘i  Department of Transportation. “We are extremely pleased with the demand for the bonds and the needed infusion of capital the Highways Division will receive from the sale.”

The bonds were sold by a financing team led by Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, serving as book-running senior manager and Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo Securities, serving as co-senior managers.