Roadwork on Kamehameha Avenue has begun, and drivers are being asked to seek out alternate routes to the busy thoroughfare.
Beginning last week, the portion of the road from Ponahawaii Street to Pauahi Street along Hilo’s Bayfront was slimmed from four lanes to two as a $13 million renovation project got underway.
Construction work is being limited to between 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. weekdays, but lane access is being limited around the clock in construction areas. Off-duty police officers were hired to direct traffic.
Meanwhile, the bus stop at the park-and-ride along the route was relocated to the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. The Mooheau bus terminal is not impacted by the work.
“The purpose of the project is to reconstruct deteriorated sidewalks for pedestrian safety and compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), provide roadway drainage system for vehicle safety, install new LED street lighting for vehicle and pedestrian safety, add bike lanes for cyclists, and upgrade the existing traffic signal system at the Pauahi Street intersection,” wrote Noelani Whittington, public information and education officer for the Hawaii County Department of Public Works.
The Federal Highway Administration is paying 80 percent of the $13 million price tag, with the county covering the remaining 20 percent. It is scheduled to take 18 months to finish, with an estimated completion date of July 2015.
The project already met with a bit of a delay, Whittington said, with work crews postponing Monday the removal of a traffic signal pole at the intersection of Kamehameha and Pauahi Street because of heavy rain. If Tuesday’s sunny weather persisted, she said it was possible the pole removal would be performed Tuesday evening.
Email Colin M. Stewart at email@example.com.