Pahoa Roundabout Contract Awarded – Pre-Construction On Schedule To Begin In September

The state Department of Transportation (HDOT) advises motorists well in advance of an upcoming detour as it plans for construction of the new Pahoa Roundabout on Hawaii Island. Beginning in mid- to late September the HDOT anticipates construction signage will begin to go up and construction preparation work will begin as the contractor prepares a temporary detour route.

pahoa round

The detour is anticipated to be put in place in mid- to late October, closing the Pahoa Bypass and diverting traffic onto Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard.

Detour conditions will be as follows:

  • Complete closure of Pahoa Bypass Road from Pahoa Village Road to Kahakai Boulevard
  • 24-hour detour onto Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard
  • Temporary traffic signal at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard
  • Detour speed limit of 25 mph
  • Left turn pocket lane created for Pahoa Marketplace

The $4.8 million project awarded to Isemoto Contracting Co. Ltd, in June of 2014, is expected to begin pre-construction activities in September with completion in summer of 2015. The purpose of this project is to provide a safe, efficient, and accessible facility for all users including motorists, pedestrians, cyclists. The project was needed to address safety and traffic congestion as well as address future increases in traffic volumes.

The HDOT is working to schedule a public meeting prior to opening the upcoming detour. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for early October. Please stay tuned as more information on the meeting will be forthcoming as the date, time and location are finalized.

 

Another Wreck at Malama Market Intersection of H130

Today at about 12:45 there was another wreck on Highway 130 at the Malama Market intersection.

Crash 1Traffic was backed up for a while and by the time I got to the intersection… the ambulance had already left the scene.

crash 2Be careful out there folks!!!

Yes… That Was Me in Today’s Wreck at Malama Market Intersection

Today at about 10:30 my cousin and I were driving back home after dropping my wife’s car off at Kolohe Auto Repair when we got in an accident at the Malama Market intersection on Highway 130 here in Pahoa.

View from inside the car right after the wreck.

View from inside the car right after the wreck.  I tried to get out of the car but was too stunned to even move and my neck and back hurt so felt it was best to just stay put.

I was the passenger in a 2009 Scion that took the brunt of the impact.  Simply put… what happened shouldn’t have happened had the driver we hit was paying attention.

We were driving towards Kalapana on Highway 130 and the driver of a Jeep Wrangler was driving towards town direction.  He moved into the left turn lane at the Malama Market intersection and came to a stop.

As we were going at the speed limit recommended for the area of 45 MPH… right as we got to the intersection… the Jeep Wrangler decided that he was going to take a left turn in to the Malama Market area.

The driver of the car I was in… slammed on her brakes but it was too late and we slammed into the car.

I spent all day in the hospital getting everything from Cat Scans to X-Rays while the whole day my neck was in some sort of collar to keep me from moving it.

I’m now happy to report that I’m back home with the diagnosis of serious whiplash and I have a nice gash down the shin of my left leg.

Highway 130 and this Malama Market intersection have been one of the most dangerous ones in the State and today it proved itself to me personally.

The State KNOWS there is a problem with this intersection yet accidents continue to happen there almost daily.  People have lost limbs, lost cars, broken bones and still yet nothing has been done.

There is plans to install a round-a-bout at this intersection in the next few months… I’m not sure how that will work in the long run.
pahoa roundMore posts related to accidents on Highway 130 can be found here:  Highway 130

26-Year-Old Identified in Highway 130 Fatality

A 26-year-old Hilo man died Sunday (April 6) from injuries he received in a two-vehicle collision on the Keaʻau-Pāhoa Road (Route 130) between the 3- and 4-mile markers in Keaʻau.

HPDBadgeResponding to a 4:31 a.m. call, Puna patrol officers determined that the Hilo man was operating a 2010 Subaru multi-purpose vehicle and traveling west on the Keaʻau-Pāhoa Road when he overtook another vehicle and collided with a 2004 Ford F-350 pickup truck traveling east.

The driver of the Ford pickup truck, a 52-year-old Keaʻau man, was transported to Hilo Medical Center with minor injuries. He was also arrested for suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant and was released pending investigation.

Police are also investigating whether the driver of the other vehicle may have been intoxicated and speeding.

Both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

He was identified as 26-year-old Matthew S. Therrien of Hilo.

Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to call Officer Tuckloy Aurello at 961-8119.

This is the fourth traffic fatality on Hawaiʻi Island this year compared with 11 at this time last year.

Highway 130 Claims First Fatality of 2014

A 53-year-old Keaʻau woman died Saturday (January 4) from injuries she sustained in a two-vehicle collision on Route 130 .2 miles south of the Route 139 intersection in Keaʻau.
HPDBadge

Responding to an 8:28 p.m. call, Puna patrol officers determined that the woman was operating a 2001 Mercury four-door sedan and traveling north on Route 130 when she crossed the center median and collided with a 1999 Mercedes Benz multi-purpose vehicle traveling south.

Fire rescue personnel took the driver of the Mercedes, a 56-year-old woman from Keaʻau, and her 23-year-old daughter to Hilo Medical Center.

The driver of the Mercury was pronounced dead at 11:26 p.m. at Hilo Medical Center.

All occupants were wearing their seatbelts.

It does not appear that alcohol or drugs were involved but speed was a factor in the crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

The name of the woman who died is being held pending notification of the next of kin.

Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to call Officer Casey Cabral at 961-8889.

This is the 1st traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared with none at the same time last year.

Highway 130 Shoulder Conversion Project – Clarifications

I posted the following comment on the Facebook group “Bike Commuter of Hilo“:

As a former member of the Keaau Pahoa Advisory Group (KPAG) on Highway 130… I can tell folks that the last drawing I saw on this Highway widening plan that is starting now is supposed to have a Bike lane.

Whether it will have one or not is yet to be seen. I don’t have much confidence that the State really listened to us KPAG Members to well as they are installing the Pahoa Round-a-bout at a location we didn’t want!

The intent of the project is to improve safety and traffic flow by converting the existing T-intersection into a single-lane modern roundabout. Construction work time is estimated at approximately 12 months.

The intent of the project is to improve safety and traffic flow by converting the existing T-intersection into a single-lane modern roundabout. Construction work time is estimated at approximately 12 months.

Doug Zang (not speaking on behalf of the DOT or SSFM) weighed in on my comment and stated the following:

Damon, some clarification is needed. As you know, I was actively involved in that project as well. The DOT has a very complicated and confusing way of implementing and funding the projects along that road, and given how long things take, I can understand the confusion.

The project that is being started this week is the “Shoulder Conversion Project.” It is NOT the same thing as the project you were involved with as a KPAG member. Yes, same highway. Yes, construction. NOT the same project.

The Shoulder Conversion Project is a short-term modification to ONLY the segment of highway between the Humane Society and Shower Drive. The only thing it will do is improve the shoulder on the mauka side of the highway so that people can drive on the mauka shoulder during the PM rush hour much as they drive on the makai shoulder during the AM rush hour today. All other hours of the day, the highway will STILL be only 2 lanes wide, and motorists will NOT be using the shoulder.

In essence, HDOT needs to widen the Waipahoehoe Bridge so that the shoulder extends at a full width across that bridge. (That is the reason the shoulder is not already being used today for that purpose in the afternoon.) So you can think of this as strictly a short-term fix until the full widening of the highway, all the way from Keaau to Pahoa, takes place.

HDOT did a *totally separate* environmental assessment for that shoulder conversion project, and it was always on a timeline ahead of the long-term widening of the highway (which is what you and I were both involved with, and the different environmental assessment that I wrote). The reason for this has to do with getting available funding. It was easier for HDOT to get funding for the shoulder conversion and make things somewhat better in the short-term. KPAG *was* told about that project, repeatedly, and told that THAT project was on a faster timeline than ours. You may not have been around for that discussion as I recall you were not present for probably the last three KPAG meetings.

In the long term, the project that both you and I were involved with WILL INDEED be wider (4 lanes, not two) and have shoulders that WILL serve bicyclists and pedestrians. THAT project, by the way, is still being designed, so it is some time off in the future before that design gets finalized and constructed.

The contact over at the HDOT office in Hilo that is involved with the Shoulder Conversion is named Julann Sonomura. If you call her (feel free to tell her I referred you) she can explain all this to you in greater detail.

Sorry for the novel, everyone, but I felt this needs to be made clear so the public understands. From the standpoint of bicyclists in East Hawaii, the Shoulder Conversion is good news but also not-so-good news. During the PM rush hour, the shoulder heading towards Pahoa will be filled with cars (much as it is in the AM heading the other way), so it will not be a place bicyclists want to be. All the OTHER hours of the day, the shoulder will be much better than now.

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/

Highway 130 Speed Limit Changing to Reduce Accidents

Highway 130 from Keaau to Pahoa is one of the more dangerous highways in the State.  I’ve documented many accidents that have happened over the last few years but this is only just a few of them that happen each week.

Senator Ruderman sent a request into the State Department of Transportation asking that one of the sections of the highway have it’s speed reduced from 55 mph to 45 mph and the State responded that they will make the changes and put in an order for the signs to be replaced with lower speed limits from Shower Drive to Ainaloa Drive.

Highway 130 Speed

 

Accident at Highway 130 and Maku’u This Afternoon

An accident was just reported at Highway 130 and Maku’u Intersection.

Photo by Kanani Konanui

Photo by Kanani Konanui

Officials Looking at Highway 130 Today

I just drove by Highway 130 and Kapoho Road intersection near Pahoa High and Intermediate School and I noticed a bunch of folks on the side of the road.

H130 Pahoa Map

I parked my car at the school and then crossed the street to ask what they were doing as they were obviously looking at the intersection and many of them had safety vests on.

At first I thought it was all State workers but then I noticed Kevin Dayton from Mayor Kenoi’s Office and I asked him what was going on.

State and County officials were looking at Highway 130 this afternoon.

State and County officials were looking at Highway 130 this afternoon.

Dayton said that the group was looking at the entire 9.5 miles of Highway 130.  He also once again mentioned the round-a-bout at Malama Market intersection and then mentioned something briefly about the Ainaoloa Intersection but I didn’t quite catch what he said.

I’m not sure why the State was looking at the Highway…. AGAIN!

I was with the KPAG group of COMMUNITY MEMBERS that did the Highway tour thing with State Officials a few years ago:  A Field Tweet Down Highway 130

Highway 130 Wreck #2

This was the second car I saw in the Highway 130 wreck today.

It looked like this accident was caused by the previous accident.

Highway 130 Wreck

So this is the first wreck I drove by around 10:00 today on Highway 130.

The red car  is just a police car that arrived on the scene afterwards.  In the next post… you will see a wreck that was just about 5 cars down from this one.

Senator Ruderman Clarifies Communication Made With Local Resident Regarding Highway 130 Lighting

On behalf of Senator Ruderman, we request that a correction to be made to the January 21, 2013 post “Seeing Highway 130 at Night in the Rain – A Community Member Speaks Up.” On January 18, Senator Ruderman did reply to Mr. Banta’s facebook message copied below and attached.

In the reply, Senator Ruderman apologized to Mr. Banta for the delay in replying to his message concerning the dangerous driving conditions faced by his wife at night. Senator Ruderman has been very busy preparing for the 2013 legislative session, but has still made a great effort to respond personally to scores of calls and emails from constituents through official means of contact. It has taken some time for our staff to transition the former campaign facebook account into a formal channel of communication, according to Hawaii State Senate rules, but we will strive for more prompt replies via facebook in the future.

We would greatly appreciate if you could communicate to constituents that the best way to ensure their concerns about District 2 are responded to promptly are to contact Senator Ruderman:

1.       Via email at:  senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov

2.       Toll free telephone at:  974-4000 x66890

3.       By post at:  Senator Russell Ruderman, Hawaii State Capitol, 415 S. Beretania St. Rm. #217, Honolulu HI 96813.

Also, would you kindly share Mr. Banta’s contact information with us so that we are able to directly address his concern directly and update him on our progress on Highway 130?

Mahalo for providing the Big Island community with free press and your assistance in creating clear channels of communication with the constituents of District 2. We appreciate you sharing Senator Ruderman’s SB377 in Bill Introduced to Bring $65 Million for Capital Improvements Projects to Puna Area. If you require any further information on the correction or information on Senator Ruderman and his work, please feel free to contact me directly.

Aloha,

Dayva Keolanui,  Office Manager

Office of Senator Russell E. Ruderman, Senatorial District 2 – Puna-Ka’u

Phone: (808) 586-6890 Fax: (808) 586-6899 d.keolanui@capitol.hawaii.gov

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Seeing Highway 130 at Night in the Rain – A Community Member Speaks Up

*1/22/13 UPDATE See Senator Ruderman’s reply below*

More Highway 130 Concerns by a local resident:

Lighting along Highway 130 is a concern for local residents.

Lighting along Highway 130 is a concern for local residents.

Aloha Damon,

I would like to ask you for advice and assistance concerning Highway 130′s need more reflectors and streetlights.

My wife’s drive home from work every night from Kea’au to Pahoa is treacherous because whole sections of the road are missing reflectors and/or street lights on one or both sides. The roadway around the entrance to Ainaloa is what the rest of the highway should be like.

I’ve already written to Ruderman a couple weeks ago and received no response yet.  I was thinking about handing out postcards around town with Ruderman’s address on one side and note requesting reflectors on the other requiring only a signature and stamp.

I was also thinking sign waving and handing out the postcards on Fridays at the bottleneck.

Sincerely,

Theodore Banta, Pahoa, Hawaii

UPDATE:

On behalf of Senator Ruderman, we request that a correction to be made to the January 21, 2013 post “Seeing Highway 130 at Night in the Rain – A Community Member Speaks Up.” On January 18, Senator Ruderman did reply to Mr. Banta’s facebook message copied below and attached.

In the reply, Senator Ruderman apologized to Mr. Banta for the delay in replying to his message concerning the dangerous driving conditions faced by his wife at night. Senator Ruderman has been very busy preparing for the 2013 legislative session, but has still made a great effort to respond personally to scores of calls and emails from constituents through official means of contact. It has taken some time for our staff to transition the former campaign facebook account into a formal channel of communication, according to Hawaii State Senate rules, but we will strive for more prompt replies via facebook in the future.

We would greatly appreciate if you could communicate to constituents that the best way to ensure their concerns about District 2 are responded to promptly are to contact Senator Ruderman:

 

1.       Via email at:                                       senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov

2.       Toll free telephone at:                   974-4000 x66890

3.       By post at:                                          Senator Russell Ruderman, Hawaii State Capitol, 415 S. Beretania St. Rm. #217, Honolulu HI 96813.

 

Wordless Wednesday – Pahoa’s New Roundabout

Tonight was the informational meeting about the Pahoa Roundabout that will be installed beginning the Summer of 2013 at a cost of $5 million dollars.

Pahoa Round-a-bout

Construction will last approximately one year and Highway 130 will be detoured through Pahoa Town during this time.

Highway 130 will be closed from the Entrance of Malama Market to Kahakai Blvd.  All Traffic will be routed through Pahoa during the construction time slated to happen from Summer 2013 to Summer 2014.

Highway 130 will be closed from the Entrance of Malama Market to Kahakai Blvd. All Traffic will be routed through Pahoa during the construction time slated to happen from Summer 2013 to Summer 2014.

This is who you get to blame for the pending mess!

Highway Card

 

Keaau-Pahoa Road Roundabout Public Informational Meeting Re-Scheduled for January 16th – Will Be in Pahoa

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 Wednesday, January 16, at 6 p.m., at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility located at 15-3022 Kauhale Street, Pahoa.

The intent of the project is to improve safety and traffic flow by converting the existing T-intersection into a single-lane modern roundabout. Construction work time is estimated at approximately 12 months.

The intent of the project is to improve safety and traffic flow by converting the existing T-intersection into a single-lane modern roundabout. Construction work time is estimated at approximately 12 months.

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, street lights and drainage improvements; along with ADA-compliant curb ramps and sidewalks, fencing, guardrails, signage and striping.  Construction work time is estimated at approximately 12 months.

Pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Native Hawaiian Organizations and Native Hawaiian descendants with ancestral lineal or cultural ties to, cultural knowledge or concerns for, and cultural or religious attachment to the proposed project may contact Steven Yoshida via email at steven.yoshida@hawaii.gov, or by US Postal Service to Department of Transportation, Traffic Branch, Traffic Design Section, Highways Division, 601 Kamokila Boulevard, Room 602, Kapolei, Hawaii 96707.  Please respond by January 30, 2013.

To request language interpretation, an auxiliary aid or service (i.e., sign language interpreter, accessible parking, or materials in alternative format), 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.

 

Roundabout Meeting Cancelled

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, *CANCELLED* 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.

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.

Car Flips Off Highway 130 – Pau Hana Traffic Snarled

I just pulled up on this accident on Highway 130 about 15 minutes ago:

The police and fire department were not on the scene yet.

There was at least one male in the car at the time of the accident and he was squiggling his way out of the car when I got on the scene.

I wasn’t about to stick around and wait for the cops to show up.  I did notice that a fire truck was heading towards the scene a few minutes after I made sure there was no immediate injuries.

Mahalo to the Community – Highway 130 Looks Good!

Community members came out today in force to volunteer their time to help clean up Highway 130 today in Puna here on the Big Island.

The group “Men of Pa’a” actually cleans a section of Highway 130 regularly and have officially adopted a section of the highway.

The Men of Pa’a is organized by “Bruddah Kuz” here in Puna and they do a lot of good work with the limited budget that they do have.

The Men of Pa’a

I lost count of how many “Adopt-a-Highway” bags that were filled with trash along the highway but I would say I must have seen at least over 300-500 bags of trash.

There were at least three police cars that assisted in keeping the volunteers safe so I’m glad that the county pitched in on this project.

Of course it wouldn’t be a community event w/out political candidates getting involved as I saw County Council Candidate Greggor Illagan rounding up his troops and getting involved in the clean up.

County Council Candidate Greggor Illagan getting his hands dirty

I’d like to thank all those that did come out… it really does make a difference in our community.