Waialae Ave. repaving project complete after nearly two years

After almost two years, the city has finally finished repaving Waialae Ave. in Kaimuki.

The project was supposed to be completed last December, but the completion date was pushed back because of “unexpected challenges,” and pricing on the project also changed.

But now the road is done and drivers can expect a smooth ride on a freshly paved road.

Drivers who use the street told KHON2 that while it took longer than expected, they’re glad it’s finally finished.

“You’d kind of pretty much drop into that side of the road and it was a little dangerous and a little scary (before),” said driver Lisa Lam.

“Everybody was bottoming out. I felt bad for the bikers and mopeds. It was really dangerous,” said driver Bruce Colburn.

Back in February, problems emerged in the form of large dips in the road. After a long wait, those repairs and repaving are finished.

“Before they were really bad and they did the repairs and it seems a lot smoother, but it did take a long time to get it done,” Colburn said.

Time wasn’t the only thing added. Cost also ballooned.

The original project was supposed to cost $9.3 million. Then $2.4 million was added, pushing the overall cost to $11.7 million.

So why the long wait and added cost?

“One of the delays here and why it cost more was we hit soft spots,” said Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “We knew they would be there, but we didn’t know they would be so wide or deep.”

The city does preliminary research into all road projects before work begins, but did say that sometimes there are factors you can’t predict.

“You can’t speculate. Things may arise, but I hope not,” Caldwell said.

As the city does move on to other projects, which could also face delays, those who use the road in this area say they are thankful even though it did take longer than expected.

“It did take a while, but it is nicer to have for sure,” Lam said.

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