KHON2 report prompts road fix in Wahiawa

Wahiawa Driveway

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A contractor hired by the city for repaving work in Wahiawa left a steep drop-off from one resident’s driveway, causing damage to her car.

The contractor, Road and Highway Builders, LLC, was also hired to lay bus pads on Mokapu Boulevard in Kailua. The project left open trenches that a resident fell into while bicycling. She suffered serious injuries to her face and body.

KHON2 got a hold of Road and Highway Builders, LLC. After bringing the issues to their attention, the company got to work.

Less than 24 hours after KHON2’s report about the Wahiawa incident, a team from Road and Highway Builders, LLC showed up at the San Nicolas family’s front door, ready to do work on their driveway — even going a step beyond.

“Very surprised. I didn’t expect anything to happen so fast,” Wahiawa reisdent Gwen San Nicolas said.

San Nicolas contacted KHON2 News hoping for action. A day later she got just that.

“With KHON2, you get action,” San Nicolas said.

At noon Thursday, crews with Road and Highway Builders rolled up to her home with an entourage of heavy machinery.

“This was definitely an oversight leaving it like this, yes,” Road and Highway Builders construction manager Aaron Hites said.

The San Nicolas’s driveway used to meet up evenly with the road, but the repaving work left a four-inch drop-off, making it difficult to maneuver cars over the gap.

Karsten Drive is one of many streets on the list for repaving work in Wahiawa and Whitmore.

Road and Highway Builders was the low-bidder for the $10 million city contract.

“This one, unfortunately got missed, and as soon as it was brought to our attention we are correcting the situation,” Hites said.

Crews got to work, grinding out part of her old driveway to even out the slope and preparing the area for a new coat of asphalt to make a smooth transition.

The company, which is mainland-based, has been working in Hawaii for about two years — first on the Big Island, now on Oahu. The company says their employees are 90 percent local workers.

“We take these public concerns very seriously and we want to address all of them and rectify the situations,” Hites said.

On top of fixing the drop-off to the driveway, the company also told the family they will repair any damage to their car.

“For her inconvenience, we are going to fix some pot holes and clean up her driveway,” Hites said.

Taxpayers will not have to foot the bill for the repairs. Road and Highway Builders will take care of the cost.

“Didn’t expect it. I’m surprised,” San Nicolas said. “Yes, I’m happy for KHON.”

Road and Highway Builders is about 25 percent done with their work in Wahiawa and Whitmore. They’ll be meeting with the city to make sure all the work done so far meets expectations.

After the work in Wahiawa, the company has contracts to start work on three more city projects.

Road and Highway Builders, LLC released the following statement on Thursday:

“RHB strives to perform high quality work at all of our job sites. We regret that we recently have not met these high standards that we set for ourselves. We take this very seriously and have taken immediate steps to rectify this isolated issue, working closely with the affected homeowner to remedy the situation. With regard to the cyclist that was injured, we are saddened by this unfortunate traffic accident and wish her a speedy recovery.”

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