The City and County of Honolulu broke ground Wednesday for a new Joint Traffic Management Center.
The three-story facility will be located at the mauka corner of King and Alapai streets, next to the Alapai Transit Center.
The city Department of Transportation Services is building the $53.6 million JTMC with $30.2 million in federal dollars provided by the Federal Highway Administration.
When it opens, the JTMC will bring together six agencies to improve traffic management and public safety coordination on Oahu. The city’s Department of Transportation Services and the state’s Department of Transportation, police, fire and Emergency Medical Services, and the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) will all collaborate in real time to manage traffic during all traffic conditions from minor congestion to major incidents and events.
“They’ve done this on the mainland and what they’ve done is when you put everyone in one room and you’re looking at the same video screens and you’re responding to the same stimuli,” explained Transportation Services director Mike Formby. “You think together, you work together and it ends up being more efficient, so I’m convinced after we train everybody to think that way, and it does involve training, I think the motoring public will see we’ll be able to manage the system better than we have in the past.”
Construction is scheduled to be completed by mid-2017.
Formby says all of the agencies will bring in their own equipment and technology to the center.
The architectural design of the building was inspired and informed by the traditions of Pacific voyaging and navigation. The overall theme of the structure honors and recognizes the successful revival and perpetuation of Polynesian and Hawaiian voyaging and the lessons learned from Micronesian master navigator Mau Piailug.
The chosen name for the JTMC is Hoku Pa’a, the Hawaiian phrase for “North Star,” literally translated as “Immovable Star.” Its logo embodies the shape of a shield with three distinct elements: the seven-pointed star, the Pueo and a roadway.
The architect is Architects Hawaii Ltd., the contractor is Watts Constructors, LLC, and the construction management company is R.M. Towill Corporation.