TOP STORY | BIG ISLAND
Once the corridor of royalty for the first capital city in the Kingdom of Hawai‘i, the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway corridor now provides 35 to 55 mph access from Kailua-Kona and the Kona International Airport to the famous gold coast on the Island of Hawai‘i.
The Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway Widening, Phase 2 initial contract value is $76.2 million to widen and construct two additional southbound travel lanes from approximately 1,150 feet south of the Kealakehe Parkway intersection to a point approximately 1,700 feet north of the Keahole Airport intersection. Since the project’s initial release in 2008, there were a number of bid protests and design changes, which extended the start date from 2010 to its actual start in September of 2015. These changes and time escalation are expected to increase the final contract value to over $85 million.
Much of the project corridor will require hard rock excavation to achieve the desire design grades and will require heavy ripping, hydraulic hammering and potentially the use of drilling and blasting. Other areas will require substantial quantities of imported fill material. The project improvements to the existing roadway include: widening the existing two-lane highway into a divided four-lane configuration capable of conveying traffic volumes in excess of those projected for the next 20 years; extension and potential realignment of several drainage structures; utility relocations and the installation of improved water and sewer systems throughout the length of the project; the installation of six signalized intersections and comprehensive highway lighting to improve the safety of the roadway; and context and culturally sensitivity improvements along the full length of the improved corridor.
Mass excavation for the project started on Sept. 8, 2015, with an expected completion in March of 2016. Both pavement and intersection improvements throughout the remainder of the roadway are expected to be completed in Sept. of 2017.
Visit the official Queen K website at buildqueenk.com for more information on the project.