Open Roads
Federal funding, pilot mixes and new housing pave the way for big Hawaii asphalt projects

Hawaii asphalt projects don’t usually run into the 10 figures.

But on July 11, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) issued Hiilawe Construction LLC a notice to proceed on a $2.6 billion pavement improvement project at various locations on the Big Island. 

 “To clarify, the total amount is for comparison of bids only and does not reflect the dollar amount of work to be completed, since the contract is an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ),” says HDOT’s Highways Division Deputy Director Ed Sniffen. “The contract allows the state to move very quickly to address more pavement area faster. The contract has no required expenditure amount, but we anticipate heavy usage of the contract, provided sufficient funding and contractor availability and quality.” 

Sniffen says federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds “will be used in this contract”—a good sign for Hawaii contractors.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, by tapping the IIJA, “Hawaii would expect to receive approximately $1.5 billion over five years in federal highway formula funding for highways and bridges. On an average annual basis, this is about 54% more than the state’s federal-aid highway formula funding under current law.”

New HDOT projects are also targeting roadway quality. “For the Hawaii DOT, one of their focuses is on smoother roads,” says Jon Young, executive director of Hawaii Asphalt Paving Industry (HAPI). “A smooth and quiet ride is a top trait that drivers want. Smoother roads also increase gas mileage and lower vehicle maintenance costs.

About two years ago, Young says, HDOT introduced an updated—and stricter—highway construction smoothness specification. “HDOT and HAPI collaborated to update the smoothness specifications,” he says.

In the coming months, HDOT’s Highways Division will launch pilot projects incorporating innovative asphalt mixes—plastic asphalt, high-content reclaimed asphalt pavement (High RAP), stone matrix asphalt (SMA) and highly modified asphalt (HiMA)—designed to enhance pavement smoothness and durability. Other 2022-2023 pilot projects will test micro-surfacing pavement preservation and permeable asphalt pavement. 

Current Projects: Hawaiian Dredging

“Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. Inc. has several projects currently on the books that will require significant amounts of paving during 2022 and into 2023,” says Len Dempsey, Hawaiian Dredging Heavy (Civil) vice president. These projects include: 

• P-169 42-inch Water Transmission Line, Wahiawa Water System Improvements (Waiawa, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Oahu). The project starts at the end of Waihona Street, continues to the Kamehameha Highway intersection, traverses Kamehameha Highway eastward to the Farrington Highway merge fronting Pearl Highlands Center and then to the second street behind Home Depot.

• Kahului Harbor Pier 1 Infrastructure (Maui)

• Kuau No. 1 & No. 2 Force Main Replacements (Paia, Maui, along Hana Highway)

• Auahi Street Promenade Improve-ments (Ward Village area, Oahu)

“These projects involve either underground infrastructure improvements resulting in re-paving existing pavement or full roadway system improvements,” Dempsey says. 

Current Projects: Hunt Cos.

In Kapolei where Hunt’s new Kalaeloa master-planned community is taking shape, “Hunt Communities Hawaii is progressing very well with Parcel 1, the site of the future Gentry residential development and the Daniel Kahikina Akaka Department of Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic,” says Tony Gaston, Hunt Cos. vice president, Development-Hawaii Division.

“The 40-acre parcel will be surrounded by roughly 25,500 square yards of newly paved asphalt roadways,” he says.

 “The new roadways are being installed to meet City & County of Honolulu (CCH) standards and are tentatively scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2023. The asphalt paving contractor is Road Builders Corp., a subcontractor under Goodfellow Bros.” 

All of Parcel I’s newly paved asphalt roadways will receive a 4-inch asphalt-treated base course and 2-and-1/2-inch Mix IV asphalt pavement.

Newly paved roadways include the extension of Kamokila Boulevard from Kapolei into Kalaeloa. “The Kamokila Boulevard extension is a new roadway that will stretch from FDR Avenue to the re-aligned Boxer roadway,” Gaston says. “Kamokila Boulevard will be a standard CCH 108-foot right-of-way (ROW), approximately 1,260 linear feet long. It will have two travel lanes and one bike lane in each direction. Although the roadway will have a new 3-foot-wide permeable paving system that is located in the travel lanes next to the curb and gutter, about 8,130 square yards of the base course and asphalt pavement will be installed.” 

Upgrades to Franklin D. Roosevelt Avenue, which intersects Kamokila Boulevard, are also underway. “FDR Avenue is being upgraded from two lanes to four lanes, with a landscaped median and sidewalks on both sides of the future 80-foot ROW,” Gaston says. “The expanded FDR has four 12-foot travel lanes and a 3-foot-wide permeable paving system adjacent to the curb and gutter, which results in approximately 8,260 square yards of the base course and asphalt pavement.” 

Linking FDR Avenue and nearby Boxer Road, “Copahee Avenue is being upgraded to a standard CCH 66-foot ROW with the 3-foot-wide permeable paving system on both sides,” Gaston says. “The paved drain system reduces the standard 36-foot curb to 30 feet, which results in approximately 4,940 square yards of the base course and asphalt pavement.”

The extension of Boxer Road is also part of Kalaeloa’s new roadway development, estimated at $50 million a few years ago. “Boxer Road is being realigned more makai,” Gaston says, “and will be a standard 78-foot CCH ROW that is roughly 1,540 linear feet. Currently, about 50% of the roadway is being installed. The 50% includes two travel lanes and the 3-foot-wide permeable paving system, which results in about 4,170 square yards of the base course and asphalt pavement. The remaining 50% will be installed with the next project.”

Also within Parcel 1, “there will be a parking lot for the VA Clinic and new private roadways in the Gentry development,” Gaston says. “The remainder of Kalaeloa is going through the design process on several projects, and new construction isn’t anticipated to begin until early- to mid-2024.”

Current Projects: Royal Contracting

Royal Contracting Co. Ltd. is currently busy with paving projects that support the construction of hundreds of new homes on Oahu. These include the 13,110-square-yard widening of Ka Uka Boulevard in Central Oahu to provide entry and exit to Koa Ridge, and the 27,476-square-yard completion of Hoopili roadways in Ewa for Increment 10A. Royal is also scheduled to pave a 43,063-square-yard portion of Hoopili 13 by October and complete all paving by February 2023.

According to Dempsey at Hawaiian Dredging, current paving projects all point in one direction: “We expect the outlook will be bright for 2023,” he says, “due to the focus by most all governmental agencies on increased infrastructure improvements.”

CAPTION:Hamm rollers, available in Hawaii at Papé Machinery, are designed to quickly produce exceptionally smooth surfaces on straights, slopes, bends or roundabouts.


$2.6B IDIQ Close-Up

The Hawaii Department of Transportation in June awarded Hiilawe Construction LLC a $2,645,511,801 indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract for HDOT’s “Asphalt Pavement Preservation, Resurfacing and Reconstruction at Various Locations, Island of Hawaii.” The total amount is for comparison of bids only and does not reflect the dollar amount of work to be completed. On July 11, HDOT issued the project’s NTP. 

The initial contract term is for 12 months. The contract’s work orders are issued on an “as-needed basis,” and each will have its own assigned contract duration. Project surface mixes include polymer-modified asphalt (PMA), slurry seal and hot-mix asphalt (HMA).  

The award covers project areas detailed below. Each area is followed by its contract amount.

Area 1: All state highways in the districts of Puna and Kau from the 5.5-mile marker on Highway 11 to south of Hinalea Bridge at the 57.75-mile marker on Highway 11. Also included is Route 11, Mamalahoa Highway/Volcano Road, mile markers 5.5 to 57.75. ($738,578,583.75)

Area 2: All state highways in the districts of North Hilo and South Hilo from the 30.3-mile marker on Highway 19 to the 5.5-mile marker on Highway 11. Some area highways, avenues, streets, roads and extensions also included. ($623,285,600.75) 

Area 3: All state highways in the districts of South Kohala, North Kohala and Hamakua from the 76.4-mile marker on Highway 19 and the 14.1-mile marker on Highway 190 to the 30.3-mile marker on Highway 19. Some area highways and roads also included. ($631,710,458.75)

Area 4: All state highways in the districts of North Kona, South Kona and Kau from the 76.4-mile marker on Highway 19 and 14.1-mile marker on Highway 190 to south of Hinalea Bridge at the 57.75-mile marker on Highway 11. Some area highways, parkways, roads and extensions also included. ($651,937,157.75)

Upcoming Asphalt Projects

Likely 2022-2023 projects for the Hawaii Department of Transportation’s Highways Division include:

• Interstate Route H-1 Resurfacing, Salt Lake Boulevard to Airport Viaduct (MP 14.05 – 15.75) – Oahu

• Interstate Route H-1 Paving, Miller Pedestrian Overpass to Kapiolani Interchange – Oahu

• Kamehameha Highway Resurfacing, Likelike to Pali Highway – Oahu
Kahekili Highway Rehab, Kam Highway to Hui Iwa Street – Oahu

• Route 19 MM 15.5 – 17.49 – Hawaii Island, Hawaii Belt Road

• Route 19 MM 23.09 – 25.76 – Hawaii Island, Hawaii Belt Road

• Route 19 MM 25.76 – 27.68 – Hawaii Island, Hawaii Belt Road

• Route 11 MM 3.31 – 6.45 – Hawaii Island, Volcano Road

• Route 11 MM 118.9 – 121.97 – Hawaii Island, Kuakini Highway/Queen Kaahumanu Extension

• Hawaii Belt Road Rehab, Route 19 MM 20.34 – 23.09 – Hawaii Island, Hawaii Belt Road

• Route 19 MM 0.0 – 2.74 – Hawaii Island, Kamehameha Avenue/Bay Front Highway/Hawaii Belt Road

• Mamalahoa Highway Rehabilitation, Route 19 MM 52.1 – 54.45 – Hawaii Island, Hawaii Belt Road/Mamalahoa Highway

The Highways Division’s 2022-2023 asphalt pilot projects include:

• Plastic Asphalt Pilot Project. Fort Weaver Road from North Road to the end (MP 0-1.28). Expected start: Fall 2022

• High-content Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (High RAP) Pilot Project (in conjunction with the Plastic Asphalt Pilot Project and following plastic asphalt installation). Fort Weaver Road from North Road to the end (MP 0-1.28). Expected start: late February, early March 2023

• Stone Matrix Asphalt (SMA) Pilot Project. Three miles of H-1 Freeway from the Miller Pedestrian Overpass to Kapiolani Interchange. Expected start: Aug. 15, 2022. Estimated advertise for related paving of ramps, guardrails, etc.: December 2022

• Oahu Micro-surfacing Pavement Preservation Pilot Project. Anticipated start: December 2022

Top 2022 Paving Performers

Hawaii’s share of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, coupled with the development of new neighborhoods, have contractors eyeing popular road equipment.  

Papé Machinery

“We are now the dealer for the Wirtgen Group lineup of road construction equipment, which includes Wirtgen, Hamm, Vögele and Kleemann,” says Papé Machinery Sales Manager Dan Christenson. “With this addition, we can now offer equipment covering the entire road- building sector from quarry to road. 

“This year, we have had a lot of interest in the Wirtgen large milling machines,” he says. “These units have great reliability, unmatched cutting technology, a Pro Active leveling system and a two-speed powershift transmission for a wide range of usable milling drum speeds, which helps with diesel consumption. We already have deliveries scheduled for a Wirtgen mill and a Kleemann crusher this quarter.”

Bacon Universal Co. Inc.

“Bacon Universal’s most popular asphalt rollers that the large paving companies are using to pave our roads are Sakai models SW654, SW774ND, SW884ND and SW994ND,” says Bacon Universal Senior Sales Representative Anthony Sproat. “The newest technology for these rollers is oscillation versus vibratory.” 

Sakai ND series machine benefits, he says, “are suitable to multipurpose asphalt mats. Both for vibratory jobs and thinner lifts, all in one machine.”

Other ND series benefits include:

• More suitable for thinner lifts (less than 2 inches) 

• Vibe/OSC in both drums (a Sakai exclusive)

• Great for overlays on longitude joints

• Not fracturing existing road

• Kneading effects place mix better

• Can potentially replace finish roller in roller pattern due to smoothness left by OSC

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