Airport road to be resurfaced


By PETER SUR

Tribune-Herald staff writer

The access road serving Hilo International Airport will be resurfaced and restriped in the coming months, said state Department of Transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl.

"Work will begin in May or June and the project should be complete in March 2013," the spokesman said in an email. "One lane will always be kept open for traffic. The contractor is required to make sure that all airport operations are maintained at all times."

Commuters may remember the last time, in December 2010, that work was done on the Airport Access Road. At that time, in the middle of the pre-Christmas rush, users of the airport, the Hilo Post Office, several Hawaii National Guard facilities and car rental agencies were diverted onto the same road that serves the Hilo landfill, creating predictable chaos.

Then-spokeswoman Tammy Mori apologized for the delays at the time.

"This heavily trafficked road was deteriorating quickly," she said in an email. "There were potholes, sometimes the size of basketballs, that needed to be frequently repaired and threatened complete shutdowns of the road. Rather than risk waiting until after the holidays and the rainy season, it was important to get the work done before the road was unusable."

But that work only covered a portion of the access road.

The bid for the remaining work was opened last June and awarded to G.W. Construction. But a bid protest held up proceedings.

The bid protest was only recently resolved in favor of G.W. Construction and subcontractor Yamada and Sons. The award amount is $1,576,000 and is 100 percent state funds, Meisenzahl said.

Meisenzahl also addressed a planned expansion of the airport's parking lot to 800 stalls, as part of the multi-year Hawaii Airports Modernization Plan:

"This project has been deferred to a later date because there is no parking shortage at the airport due to the drop in flights," he said. "There is a project to resurface and restripe the parking lot at a cost of approximately $900,000 that is expected to go out to bid this year."

Email Peter Sur at psur@hawaiitribune-herald.com.