New Vehicle Safety Inspection Program Begins November 1st – Prices to Increase

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the launch of the new vehicle safety inspection program beginning November 1, 2013, creating an efficient and secure method of keeping vehicle information. The program will do away with monthly reporting by the inspection stations and provide immediate recordation and proof of the vehicles current results.

Safety Check

“With this program we enter the new age of wireless computerization, instant recordation and protection from fraud and theft,” stated Glenn Okimoto, director of the state Department of Transportation.
Under the proposed regulations, the cost of the vehicle safety inspection for automobiles and trucks will increase to $19.19 + tax with $1.70 for each inspection going to HDOT for administration and enforcement of the program and $1.69 going to Parsons for providing the equipment and technical support.
The HDOT Motor Vehicle Safety Office worked closely with the City & County of Honolulu and the Neighbor Island counties to develop this program and will continue working together to improve the efficacy of the inspection program.

 

Acting Hawaii Governor Announces Release of $26.4 Million in Capital Improvement Project Funds

Acting Governor Shan Tsutsui today announced the release of more than $26.4 million in capital improvement projects for priority repairs and improvements at state facilities and highways under the purview of the Department of Transportation.

abercrombieheader

“These investments will increase the safety of our residents while traveling on our highways as well as support the expansion of our maritime activities,” said Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui.  “These projects will also continue our momentum of creating jobs and stimulating our economy.”

Allotment of funds for the following priority projects, identified by members of the State Legislature, has been approved by the Acting Governor:

$21,400 — Interstate Route H-3 Halekou Interchange to Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii safety improvement project.   These additional highway revenue bond funds will provide for the safety improvements needed for the H-3 Halekou Interchange.

$21,700 — H-1,H-2 and H201 destination signage upgrades.  These additional highway revenue bond funds will provide for additional design costs to upgrade existing signs to meet current standards.

$198,800 — Inoaole Stream Bridge replacement project, which is on Kalanianaole Highway in the vicinity of Waimanalo.  The bridge will be replaced to increase stream flow capacity in the area to reduce or eminate flooding during heavy rainfall.  These additional revenue bond funds will provide for additional design costs and acqusition of drainage easements.

$4,500,000 — Pier 31 improvements.  These special funds will provide for the demolition of a shed  and upgrades at Honolulu Harbor’s Pier 31 in relation to Pasha’s plans for a new larger shipping vessel.

$10,740,000 — DOT Harbors Division Maui District Office.  These special funds will provide for additional design and construction of a DOT Harbors Division Maui District Office, which will be relocated in the Old Kahului Railroad Building as part of the Kahului Harbor Development Plan of July 2012.

$11,000,000 — Habors Modernation Plan.  These revenue bonds will provide for the demolition of structures located at Kapalama Military Reservation and construction for a new Kapalama Container Facility to support expanding maritime activities in Honolulu Harbor.

 

U.S. Department of Transportation Releases $236,277,358 in Federal Funds for Honolulu Rail Project

Today, Senator Schatz announced the release $236,277,358  in federal funds for the Honolulu Rail Transit project.  This U.S. Department of Transportation funding will be used to continue building Hawai‘i’s first light rail system.

The very first Honolulu Rail Column 45 (Copyright Iopa Maunakea use with permission only)

The very first Honolulu Rail Column (Copyright Iopa Maunakea use with permission only)

“Federal funding for the rail project continues to flow and we continue to receive assurance from the DOT and the FTA that it is full speed ahead,” said Senator Brian Schatz. “After 40 years in the making, the rail project is now quickly progressing and I will continue to work towards making a rail system in Hawai‘i a reality.”

Senator Schatz serves on the Surface Transportation Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Earlier this year, Senator Schatz met with Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Transit Administrator Pete Rogoff to receive their commitment to defend Honolulu rail transit’s funding.

 

Keaau-Pahoa Highway 130 Road Shoulder Lane Conversion Project Starts Monday

The state Department of Transportation advises Hawaii motorists of upcoming lane shifts and temporary closures on Keaau-Pahoa Road (Route 130) between mile post 2.0 and 4.1 beginning on Monday, August 26, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., for the duration of the Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane conversion project.

Beginning of the project

Beginning of the project

The project spans from Keaau Bypass Road to Shower Drive, a total length of 2.31 miles with a project cost of $15 million. Construction includes two 12ft lanes and an 8ft shoulder lane in the inbound direction and one 12ft lane and a 10ft shoulder lane in the outbound direction. These additions will improve traffic and help with congestion upon completion of this project.

During the construction period, the speed limit will be reduced to 35 mph. Motorists are advised to allow for extra travel time.

Your patience is appreciated as the temporary increased traffic and reduced speed limit will pay off with improved traffic flow on Highway 130. For updates on DOT roadwork, please visit http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/roadwork/hawaii/

Commentary – Aaron Stene on the Saddle Road Project

I’m very disappointed how Governor Abercrombie’s administration has managed the widening of Queen Kaahumanu Highway and last Hilo side phase
of Saddle Road. The Section 106 consultation process between the Native Hawaiian Organizations and FHWA/DOT has entered its twentieth month.

Saddle Road Dedication

The FHWA and DOT is keeping the public  in the dark regarding these consultations, so no one knows where things stand with this project. The
Queen Kaahumanu Highway website hasn’t been updated since September 25th, 2012.

The Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening should’ve been completed three years ago, but it is on hold due to various issues. There may be a light
at the end of tunnel though. The HDOT hopes to break ground on this project in August, according to the April Board of Water Supply meeting
minutes. However, the calendar isn’t a friend of this latest start date.  Several outstanding issues need to be resolved, such as the completion
of the ongoing Section 106 consultation process, before this project can move forward.

Saddle Road Blessing

Senator Inouye joined Mayor Billy Kenoi and others for a blessing of the recently refurbished section of Saddle Road between mile post 11 and mile post 19

The last east side Saddle Road phase (between m.m  5.3 and m.m 11) is the other project botched by Governor Abercrombie’s administration. The
HDOT asked the State Attorney General’s office  to begin condemnation proceedings against the three remaining landowners in 2012, whose land
is required for this new highway.

The Land Transportation Division of the Attorney General’s office has yet to initiate any of these lawsuits, as of January 2013. The HDOT
recently submitted the last Saddle Road phase for a FY 2013 TIGER grant.  I’m deeply concerned this right of way issue may influence the chances of this phase being awarded a TIGER grant.

Saddle Road Stene

I’ve tried to convey my concerns to the Honolulu HDOT and FHWA powers that be. However, they’ve ignored nearly all my e-mails regarding these
two much-needed projects.

Aaron Stene,

Kailua, Kona

 

Safe Routes to School Call for Applications

The state of Hawaii, Department of Transportation (DOT) is seeking applications to plan, develop, implement and evaluate eligible Safe Routes to School (SRTS) infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects.  A call for applications is available at the following link and must be submitted by June 21, 2013.

http://spo3.hawaii.gov/notices/notices/plomino_documents/none-100

Safe RoutesSRTS is an international effort to increase safety and promote walking and bicycling to and from school.  The federally funded SRTS program was established by Section 1404 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), signed into law in 2005.  This is DOT’s third call for applications to award SRTS federal funds provided by SAFETEA-LU.

Eligible recipients of SAFETEA-LU Section 1404 funds to be used for SRTS projects are limited to state, local and regional government agencies, including schools and school districts, and non-profit organizations.  Applications will be accepted only from these entities.  Recipients of SRTS federal funds will be responsible for all aspects of project implementation as DOT’s role is as an oversight capacity only.

Eligible SRTS projects and activities shall directly support increased safety and convenience for students in grades K-8 to walk and/or bicycle to and from school.  In addition, all projects that use SRTS federal funds shall comply with applicable federal, state and loocal provisions.

Applications must be received by June 21, 2013 at 2:00 p.m., at the following address:

Department of Transportation, Highways Division

Traffic Branch

601 Kamokila Boulevard, Rm 602

Kapolei, Hawaii 96707

Attention: Tara Lucas

For more information on the SRTS Federal program in Hawaii, please visit http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/safe-routes-to-school-program/.

 

Public Invited to Pahoa Roundabout Meeting to Be Held in Keaau

12/14/12 CANCELLED!

Department of Transportation (DOT) would like to update the community that the Public Informational Meeting regarding intersection improvements at Keaau-Pahoa Road and Old Government Road in Pahoa, Hawaii, previously scheduled on Wednesday, December 19, will be postponed and rescheduled in January 2013. A date and location will be announced in a future DOT news release.

The intent of the project is to improve safety and traffic flow by converting the existing T- intersection into a single-lane modern roundabout. The project also includes slope reinforcement, landscaping improvements, electrical conduits and street lights, drainage improvements along with ADA compliant curb ramps and sidewalks, fencing, guardrails, signage and striping. Construction work time is estimated at approximately 12 months.

The state DOT apologizes for the inconvenience and will notify the community of further information.

The state Department of Transportation would like to invite the community to a Public Informational Meeting regarding intersection improvements at Keaau-Pahoa Road and Old Government Road in Pahoa, Hawaii.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., on Wednesday, December 19, at the Keaau Elementary School Cafeteria, located at 16-680 Keaau-Pahoa Road.

Pahoa Round-a-bout

The intent of the project is to improve safety and traffic flow by converting the existing T-intersection into a single-lane modern roundabout.The project also includes slope reinforcement, landscaping improvements, electrical conduits and street lights, drainage improvements along with ADA compliant curb ramps and sidewalks, fencing, guardrails, signage and striping.

Construction work time is estimated at approximately 12 months. To request language interpretation, an auxiliary aid or service (i.e., sign language interpreter, accessible parking, or materials in alternative format), please contact Steven Yoshida, Highways Division, by phone at (808) 692-7682 or by email at steven.yoshida@hawaii.gov, three (3) days prior to the meeting date. TTY users may use TRS to contact our DOT office.

Another Highway 130 Wreck

I thought I might have jinxed myself by posting a whole page devoted to Highway 130 wrecks as it’s been a while since I came across one but today I ran across another one!

This was a two car accident that happened at the intersection of Highway 130 and Old Pahoa Road in front of Pahoa High School.

It happened around 10:45 this morning and there was no rain and visibility seemed to be pretty good.

It’s only a matter of time before someone sues the State of Hawaii for this Highway because I believe the State knows that the intersections are designed incorrectly and they aren’t doing anything soon to re-mediate the problem.

County to Receive $5 Million Grant for One-Stop Transportation Facility and ADA Compliant Buses

Media Release:

Hawaii and Kauai County will receive $5.925 million to build a transit facility and buy new buses, Senator Daniel K. Inouye announced today.

Hawaii County will receive the bulk of the money, $4 million to construct a one-stop transportation facility in Hilo and $1 million for the purchase of Americans with Disability Act compliant new buses.

Kauai will receive $925,000 to purchase new buses.

The funds are provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“The safe and timely transportation of our residents and visitors is critical to maintaining a healthy economy.  These funds will help people on Kauai and the Big Island get to and from work while reducing traffic congestion and limiting the impact fossil fuels have on the environment, ” said Senator Inouye.