KAILUA-KONA — Another $6.8 million has been added to the tab for phase 2 of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway widening project.
That’s according to a state Department of Transportation website, which puts the project cost at $128.1 million, up from the $121.3 million cost released late last year.
The project, when finished, will widen a little more than 5 miles of Highway 19 from two to four lanes and install new lights and signals.
When it broke ground in September 2015, estimates pegged the cost around $90 million.
The project area runs from Kealakehe Parkway to Keahole Airport Road. The first phase of the project widened a roughly 2.6-mile stretch of road from Henry Street to Kealakehe Parkway.
Shelly Kunishige, DOT spokeswoman, said the department authorized another $5.5 million to reconstruct the mauka side pavement of the highway between Hina Lani Street and Kealakehe Parkway.
Kunishige said conditions of the existing pavement on that side required reconstruction, but that the department didn’t expect any more reconstruction on the rest of the highway in the area.
The remaining $1.3 million was paid for by the County of Hawaii for water and sewer line improvements in the area.
Kunishige said the Department of Transportation doesn’t expect “significant additional costs to emerge” through the time when the project is expected to be substantially completed in August.
At that time, she said, the newly paved lanes will be open for public use.
The most recent work on the highway has included the installation of concrete swales on the north and south of Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park and drywells near Kealakehe Parkway, according to an update posted to the project website, www.BuildQueenK.com.
Traffic signals have also been installed at Kaiminani Drive, Hulikoa Drive and across from Kaloko-Honokohau.
Upcoming work includes the continued installation of swales on the project’s south side, grading the shoulder on the north and south segments of the project and continued installation of the traffic signal system.
Work that could affect traffic includes trucks that will be going in and out of median work zones at various intersections throughout the project area.
Drivers are advised to be cautious when construction vehicles with flashing hazard and strobe lights are traveling in the area.
Motorists are also reminded that Makako Bay Drive is restricted to “right-in” and “right-out.” Those going northbound cannot turn left into Makako Bay Drive and must continue northbound and use Kaiminani Drive/Kahilihili Street to access Makako Bay Drive.