State repaves roadways to lessen pothole problems

The state Department of Transportation usually pays between $300 and $500 to settle damage claims caused by potholes.

It’s a costly issue so we asked what’s the state doing to ease this headache for drivers?

KHON2 reported on Thursday, instead of just patching up potholes as they occur, the city plans to continue repaving certain roads to lessen the problem altogether.

The DOT plans to do the same and we’re told work has already started.

Last year the DOT filled 40,000 potholes just on Oahu alone.

The potholes cost an estimated $355,000 to fix but more money is still spent long after the repairs are made.

KHON2 learned the DOT settled 45 pothole damage claims last fiscal year, totaling more than $23,000 in payouts to drivers.

The highest awarded claim the state paid for pothole damage was nearly $4,000.

“We realize that potholes are a problem and they do come up especially after rains,” DOT Spokesman Tim Sakahara said.

Potholes, like ones on the Pali and the Likelike Highways, can make it a bumpy ride for drivers but the DOT is taking steps to improve the commute by paving and re-surfacing.

“Right now on the Likelike Highway, there’s one that’s getting a full re-surfacing project right now as we speak. I you go up there you’ll see a lot of work being done,” Sakahara said. “Kahekili Highway is one we’re doing right now that’s being repaved. That’s another one we’re trying to improve the capacity.”

The state said dangerous potholes and busy roads take priority over roads with less traffic volume.

“We’ll go out and do it right away if it warrants. On the other ones, if it’s not an immediate health and safety issue, it will be put into a que and it will be done within the five week cycle,” Sakahara said.

We’re also told crews are always trying to be proactive.

“Everytime we go out and touch a roadway we actually look at it holistically to try to improve it as best as possible,” Sakahara said. Our inspectors go out every single day and actually can find things on their own and determine.”

KHON2 also asked the state about any repaving or re-surfacing work for the Pali Highway.

We’re told improvements are planned but there’s no time frame available just yet.

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