Transportation Update: Lighting & Widening of Farrington Hwy (1/6/14)

From: Jadine Urasaki
Sent: Monday, January 06, 2014 10:26 AM
To: Sen. Maile Shimabukuro

Aloha Senator,

Please see responses to your inquiries as it relates to DOT:

Senator Shimabukuro: Lights Along Farrington Highway and in the State Ag. Parks – I’m not sure whether you’ve driven along the corridor between the Kahe Point Power Plant and the Piliokahi Street at the beginning of Nanakuli at night, but there are NO street-lights illuminating that stretch of road from Kahe Point to the “hill” entering Nanakuli As you may realize, traffic accidents (some fatal) have become a rather common occurrence – most recently this past week.  I recall that Farrington Highway is a state roadway, so is there some way the State could arrange for the installation of at least a street lights to be installed – possibly solar-powered like those street lamps by the Navy Exchange fronting the freeway entrance at Moanalua?

Response:  Approximately 3,000 ft. from the Kahe Pt. Power Plant driveway to before the “hill” on Farrington Hwy. has no street lighting.  This section is a 4-lane divided roadway with 12 ft. travelways, 4-6 ft. paved shoulders and a 20-22 ft. median. There is one unsignalized beach access intersection and one median opening for u-turns.  The average daily traffic is approximately 40,000 vehicles and the summary of the 5-year accident history based on latest available data (2006-2010) is as follows:

  • 23 major traffic accidents (0 fatalities, 11 injury)
  • 10 of the 23 accidents occurred during daylight
  • Of the 13 non-daylight accidents – 4 were noted as fatigue as a factor, 3 were noted as alcohol as a factor, 2 were noted as speed as a factor.  The other accidents mentioned rear-ended in a construction zone going 20 mph, veered off, illness-seizure, traveling wrong way.

Based non-daylight accident history, no development along this section of roadway, and impacts to wildlife, the installation of street lighting is not necessary.  With concern on the most recent fatalities, we are awaiting accident report from the Honolulu Police Department to confirm the exact location.

In addition, use of solar-powered LED street lighting is not recommended at this time.  Our focus is on implementing LED lighting first before we start looking at an alternative power supply.  Developing LED specifications is an iterative process as we find out what works well and what doesn’t through experiences with our LED installations and guidance and regulations from Federal Highways Administration and American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).  Also, based on a brief research, not many manufacturers currently produce solar-powered lighting for highway purposes and like LED, time will produce more manufacturer and better products.  As with solar-powered equipment we have deployed now or in the past, crashworthiness, system reliability, battery life and battery theft are issues that need to be addressed.

Senator Shimabukuro: Farrington Highway Widening – Given the Leeward Coast’s increasing population, the ONLY means of transport on/off this Coast needs to be widened. You had mentioned the plan for a third, turning lane along the Ma`ili through Nanakuli corridor. However, are these plans set in stone? Would it be possible to add a lane(s) on the “Makai” side of the highway replacing the old railroad tracks? Shouldn’t federal funds be available for this given this highway’s access to the munitions depot. A big concern is that should another hurricane or tsunami strike, we Leeward Coast residents have only ONE transportation artery allowing access and egress since Kolekole Pass is shut down.

Response:  The Farrington Highway corridor along the Leeward Coast lacks sufficient additional right-of-way to provide an additional travel lane.  While it is true that the old Oahu Railway and Land Company parcel was transferred to the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), it included a condition that the State use a portion of this land to construct a bikeway or pedestrian walkway.  The State is close to advertising for construction the Leeward Bikeway project which will fulfill our commitment on this matter and provide a multi-use path for bicyclists and pedestrians along much of the Leeward Coast.

Late last year, HDOT advertised the Farrington Highway Intersection Improvements at Nanakuli Avenue and Haleakala Avenue Project which will provide the much needed signalized, dedicated left-turn lanes into the Nanakuli subdivision.  Construction is anticipated to begin in the second quarter of 2014.

Thank you.
Jadine Urasaki, P.E. LEED AP
Deputy Director – Projects
State of Hawaii Department of Transportation
869 Punchbowl Street, Suite 500
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

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