Queen Kaahumanu widening project cost increases to $128.1M

  • Traffic snarls to a crawl recently on Queen Kaahumanu Highway. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

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.

  1. rabilancia May 3, 2018 3:16 am

    The question begging to be asked is, “So WHEN it will be finished?”

    1. Vesparado May 3, 2018 6:53 am

      It’s right there in the article. “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”.

      1. Aaron Stene May 3, 2018 8:16 am

        The new lanes will be completed by August, but the overall project won’t be completed until November. The remaining work includes finishing the improvements to the county
        roads tie-ins at the various intersections.

        1. randy May 3, 2018 10:58 am

          How many years?

          1. Aaron Stene May 3, 2018 2:31 pm

            It will be roughly a year behind schedule when everything is said and done.

        2. Buds4All May 4, 2018 4:58 am

          August 2024

      2. Nancie Waage May 3, 2018 9:16 pm

        “expected” is a very ambiguous word ! We will see when it is actually open for use !!!

        1. Buds4All May 4, 2018 4:58 am

          with additional cost over runs!

  2. Pest Outwest May 3, 2018 3:36 am

    Probably this article could have been pre-written a year ago, with only the dates and the amount of the cost overrun left to fill in. I mean, I trust it comes as no shock.

    1. Finn May 3, 2018 10:37 am

      Absolutely and this isn’t over yet.

    2. Buds4All May 4, 2018 4:58 am

      I am sure it is a form article provided by the state/county.

  3. Buds4All May 3, 2018 5:06 am

    12.8M per mile? WTF????

    1. Aaron Stene May 3, 2018 8:13 am

      128.1 million dollars divided by 5.2 miles is 24.6 million dollars a mile.

  4. Big ideas May 3, 2018 5:46 am

    50% cost overrun…about right for anything the a Hawaiian government touches!!!

    Is anyone surprised?

    1. Isaac Harp May 3, 2018 11:08 pm

      Correction, it is not a Hawaiian government. It is an American government and no one is surprised.

      1. Big ideas May 4, 2018 7:23 am

        Hawaiian as in one of the 50 States….not the sovereign movement interpretation. That really needed clarification?

        1. Isaac Harp May 4, 2018 4:15 pm

          Aloha whoever you are hiding behind the “Big ideas” title. I’m sure you can agree that facts matter. Assumptions on the other hand leaves the door open to misinterpretation. Your comment about the “sovereignty movement” is clearly an assumption as it is an inaccurate reflection of fact.

          The movement does not seek sovereignty, it is intended to end the unlawful United States prolonged belligerent occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Sovereignty of a nation is not dissolved by the simple act of displacement of a state’s government or an unlawful prolonged belligerent occupation.

          Because the Hawaiian Kingdom was never lawfully annexed by the United States, the Hawaiian Kingdom could never lawfully become a state of the United States. Yes it is that simple.

          Here are a few supporting facts for you to contemplate.

          Annexation requires a Treaty of Annexation. During 1893 and 1897, patriotic citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom, regardless of race, successfully opposed two Treaties submitted to the United States by insurgents in Hawaii requesting the United States annex the Hawaiian Islands. Failing to garner the required two-thirds support of Congress for annexation in 1893 and 1897, Congress approved Joint Resolution No. 55 by simple majority on July 7, 1898, thereby PURPORTING to annex the Hawaiian Islands. But did the United States actually annex Hawaii? The short answer is no.

          Acquisition of the territory, sovereignty, and citizenship of a foreign nation, such as the Hawaiian Kingdom, through United States domestic legislation is contrary to the United States Constitution and customary international law. A Treaty of Annexation is required. This is fact.

          If you live in Hawaii, I suggest you learn the facts about the unlawful United States prolonged belligerent occupation of Hawaii. Once you know the facts you may be better able to understand the bigger picture.

          1. Big ideas May 4, 2018 6:57 pm

            Enjoy living in Hawaii – one of the fifty States in the United States of America.

            If that bothers you – please feel free to return all monetary and in kind benefits you get from the Federal Government. The U.S. Treasury accepts all personnel checks. I wouldn’t want you to compromise your beliefs.

          2. Isaac Harp May 4, 2018 7:59 pm

            You can deny the truth all you want but that doesn’t change the fact that Hawaii was never lawfully a part of the United States. That fact makes you an alien. The manner in which you communicate makes you an unwelcome alien.

            I receive no monetary or in-kind benefits from your federal government so save your silly jokes for your fellow Americans.

          3. Big ideas May 5, 2018 8:13 am

            It is now – rtry dealing with it in today’s reality.

          4. Big ideas May 7, 2018 4:32 pm

            From punababe808 – King Kemeahameaha requested the U.S. put in troops to keep the other countries from taking the land. In his wisdom he used these words to keep his subjects ( who all were his heirs) to deal with the reality of what was happening. He said,” The Big fish will always eat the little fish”. Then he let them know Hawaii would be better off under the Big fish of the United States than England , Japan, China, Russia, etc. At Waikiki is a little war museum. Showing and explaining the battles of Hawaii going back thousands of years. Visit it if you have a chance

          5. Isaac Harp May 8, 2018 7:45 pm

            Interesting that you continue trying to justify the US occupation of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Nothing you have posted changes the facts so your reaching informs me that you are very uncomfortable with the truth.

            Washington D.C. (Dec. 1842)

            ” . . . the Government of the Sandwich Islands ought to be respected; that no power ought either to take possession of the islands as a conquest, or for the purpose of colonization, and that no power ought to seek for any undue control over the existing Government, or any exclusive privileges or preferences in matters of commerce” — in a letter from Daniel Webster, secretary of state, to the governments of France & Great Britain

            Hawaii ceded to Britain (Feb. 25, 1843): “Hear ye! I make known to you that I am in perplexity by reason of difficulties into which I have been brought without cause; therefore, I have given away the life of the land, hear ye! But my rule over you, my people, and your privileges, will continue, for I have hope that the life of the land will be restored when my conduct is justified.” — Kauikeaouli’s speech at Honolulu fort

            British policy statement (April 1843) essentially it said: native governments should be treated with “great forbearance and courtesy” and their laws and customs should be respected the objective was to “strengthen those authorities and to give them a sense of their own independence, by leaving the administration of justice in their own hands”

            Dual Agreement (Nov.1843) between Britain & France: “…taking into consideration the existence in the Sandwich Islands of a government capable of providing for the regularity of its relations with foreign nations, have thought it right to engage reciprocally to consider the Sandwich Islands as an independent state, and never to take possession, either directly or under the title of a protectorate, or under any other form, of any part of the territory of which they are composed”

          6. Big ideas May 9, 2018 5:46 am

            No need to justify the reality you and I live in,…accept and move on.

          7. Isaac Harp May 10, 2018 1:56 am

            The facts are the reality, everything else is criminal as in war crimes and human rights violations. If you can’t deal with the facts go back to your own country.

          8. clifford lonokapu June 15, 2018 4:25 am

            The white man has done nothing but harm to the American environment by cutting the forests down, plowing the lands up, slaughtering the other animals, building villages, towns, cities and roads everywhere and dumping their sewage and trash anywhere it were convenient.

            Nothing the white man has ever created, invented , manufactured or built was truly needed by, or important to, any other living thing on the planet beginning with the human female and their children.

          9. clifford lonokapu May 7, 2018 7:24 pm

            Nothing the white man has ever discovered, created, invented, manufactured or built was truly needed by , nor important to, any indigenous group on the planet. Everything the white man has ever done they did for themselves and to the detriment of the non-white people.

          10. Big ideas May 8, 2018 7:02 am

            Penicillin? Smallpox vaccine? Polio vaccine?

            You want to rethink that statement?

          11. clifford lonokapu June 11, 2018 7:22 pm

            The European women tried for hundreds of years to get the males to wash their hands after wiping their anus and before handling their food but the males refused thus causing most of the major illnesses that now plague mankind.

          12. Big ideas June 14, 2018 6:12 am

            Cite hews source please

          13. Big ideas June 14, 2018 6:12 am

            Cite news source please

          14. clifford lonokapu June 15, 2018 4:03 am

            The native Hawaiians strongly objected to, and voted against, Hawaii becoming a state but the white-man’s imported lackeys, the orientals (especially the Japanese) did just what the white man had imported them into Hawaii for: they voted FOR! Hawaii becoming the 50th state, thus fulfilling their treacherous mission.

        2. clifford lonokapu May 7, 2018 7:17 pm

          Hawaii is a state but Hawaiian is not.

          1. Big ideas May 8, 2018 7:03 am

            And all Hawaiians and non Hawaiians are citizens of the State and U.S.A.

          2. clifford lonokapu June 11, 2018 6:56 pm

            Just as the white men did to the native Americans and many other indigenos cultures throughout the world the white man used their armed troops to overthrow the Hawaiian government, claim ownership of the Hawaiian islands and imposed their laws, orders, governance and control over the Hawaiian people. Nevertheless, the Hawaiian people consider themselves Hawaiians first and Americans secondly, if at all.

            The white man is the greediest animal to ever set foot on the American continents, Hawaii, Samoa, Tahiti, Tonga. Maori, Fiji, Australia, Asia, India, Africa, etc., all of which the white man used their guns and troops to conquer.

          3. Big ideas June 14, 2018 6:15 am

            Kamehamaha used his armed troops to overthrow the people of other Islands, claim ownership of the Hawaiian islands and imposed his laws, orders, governance and control over the Hawaiian people.

            Your comment fits rather nicely when bent back on your own position.

    2. clifford lonokapu May 7, 2018 7:15 pm

      Your use of the term Hawaiian makes it seem as if it were the real Hawaiians who engineered that corrupted fiasco when in fact we real Hawaiians had nothing to do with it.

  5. Graystash May 3, 2018 6:08 am

    Is this a big surprise ?? ” That’s how we do it in Hawaii” Sad 🙁 🙁

    1. randy May 3, 2018 10:57 am

      That is how we steal it legally in Hawaii. Stolen no less!

  6. diverdave May 3, 2018 9:10 am

    WANTED: Estimator for Public Works in Hawaii. Must have NO previous experience. Just pull a number out of thin air when “estimating” all building projects on Hawaii. No repercussions for being way off, as the citizenry is asleep and doesn’t care. Can be as much as $8,000,000,000 Billion Dollars off (rail) or simply use a percentage of 50% off for all road projects.
    Must be a Democrat, and willing to join the Legal Mafia.

    1. Buds4All May 4, 2018 4:54 am

      Pleas add DiverDave -Must have no moral compass and be a relative of other city/county/state existing employees. Possess no work ethic and understanding of job you are doing. Must be willing to screw your neighbors with a straight face.

  7. Nancie Waage May 3, 2018 9:14 pm

    Will I really see it completed when I return in January 2019 ???????

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