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Sad State of Highways

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

It is no secret that portions of the state highways in our district are deplorable. Some of the craters – so big that the term pot hole fails to do them justice – have been truly jarring for many drivers. I needed a new tire after striking one particularly terrible crater near Waimea Bay, and many people might have needed their cars aligned after striking that spot near Police Beach. Mercifully, these two craters were finally repaired.

Lately, my office has received calls asking why the DOT was spending time and money to re-paint the lines when the overall condition of the roadway is so bad. When asked, the department responded it was to improve safety. Of course, it is hard to see how making brighter lines might improve safety when drivers are continuously getting bounced around or dodging pot holes, craters and other highway defects.

The obvious question is when these roads will be resurfaced. The DOT has a website with existing and proposed projects laid out on a map of Oahu. Click on a road label on the map and an information box opens. While this is a big improvement for looking up various projects, we find the site often lacks current information or incorrectly identifies poor road surfaces as fair.

Because it has been consistently difficult to get clear answers from the DOT when we ask specific follow up questions, we are developing our own list of roadways and projected repairs. This information and a link to the DOT site are available at under the District 23 tab.

Visitors to will notice two webpages dedicated to highways under the District 23 tab: Budgeted Highway Programs, and Problem Roadways and Bridges. The former page lists projects that are presently listed on the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP), a fiscally balanced, multi-year schedule of projects budgeted with federal funds. The latter page is our compilation of projects that are not yet on the STIP, or will be done through state highway funds and will not require placement on the STIP.

The City has done a great job resurfacing residential streets over the past few years, but they still need to get to the city section of Kamehameha Highway along Kaneohe Bay. Our list will include this section along with the state roadways and bridges that impact our district and are in obvious need of repair.

Two of the worst sections of roadway the DOT intends to send out to bid this year include Kamehameha Hwy. from Kapuhi St. to Waialee, in August, and Wilikina Drive, in November. Hopefully, these targets will be met and construction will be complete within the next year or two. With our new status list of highway projects, we hope to be able to more effectively follow the various projects and relay the latest information to interested residents who have had to endure substandard roadways for much too long.

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