February 2019 Meeting Highlights

President Claire Fukuoka welcomed everyone to the meeting.  She then shared some of the legislative bills Legislative Committee Chairperson Wayne Yoshioka has been following.  These include measures aimed at increasing pedestrian safety (no right-turn on red) and red light cameras.  Wayne has put together a summary of the bills currently under consideration which has been posted on our website.  Western District International Director Cathy Leong followed with announcements from the district level and thereafter Vice President Cristina Rodriguez introduced guest speaker Shelly Kunishige, DOT Public Affairs Officer.  She was also joined by Marshall Ando, DOT Highways Administrator.  The topic of Shelly’s presentation was “Maximizing Hawaii’s Highways: What DOT is doing to implement cost effective congestion relief quickly”.  According to Shelly’s presentation, there are currently 2,500 lane miles across Hawaii, of which 25% are considered in good condition, 53% in fair condition, and 22% in poor condition.  The organization’s goal is maintain at least 80% of the roadways in either fair or good condition.  However, faced with the rising cost of construction and a decrease in highways revenue, DOT has had to reprioritize its projects from improvements aimed to increase roadway capacity to system preservation projects that would utilize the existing right-of-way and provide the greatest benefit for minimal cost.  These projects have included the provision of an additional zipper lane, the Nanakuli Contraflow, the Kahekili Highway Resurfacing and Contraflow, and the Keaau-Pahoa Road Restriping between Keaau Town and Shower Drive.  The implementation of these projects has helped to increase roadway capacity along the affected areas all the while minimizing significant infrastructure modifications and cost.  In addition, DOT is currently designing a project to provide an additional lane to the westbound direction of H-201 between Puuloa and Halawa and in the future, plans to implement additional ITS improvements and upgrade traffic signals along Nimitz Highway to support connected vehicles.