Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Honolulu's Pavements Among Nation's Worst

It is no secret that the roads on Honolulu are generally in mediocre to poor condition. A 2009 report of the American Association of State and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) makes this negative distinction official: Honolulu is 4th worst in the nation.

As a consequence of this, the average vehicle in Honolulu suffers about $700 in annual road damage in tires, suspension, etc. The analysis of this report does not include the cost of additional accidents and crashes that roads in poor condition cause.

The report states that when a road is good, the investment of $1 to keep it in good condition averts the expenditure of $6 to $14 in payments necessary to bring it from a poor condition to good condition. Unfortunately for Honolulu, the habitual raiding of the Highway Fund by the Legislature and the habitual neglect of the roads for 10+years of the Harris and Hannemann administrations could not have come at a worse time, since now we are in a belt tightening mode.

However, I need to remind our reader that on Oahu, it is not a priority to fix our roads or to reduce congestion on our roads or to provide work for projects our laborers can do (fix and build roads.) The priority (for now) remains to waste five-plus billion dollars on a rail system with 20 stops, for which specialized imported labor will be necessary.

A summary of the report and the report itself can be found here: The pavement quality table is shown below.