Pizza the road repair pie: Big Island gets $5k Domino’s grant to fill potholes

  • Pothole ripe for fixing. (courtesy Dominos).

  • A vehicle drives through a large pothole Sept. 20 on Alii Drive. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

HILO — Domino’s’ latest topping? Asphalt.

Hawaii County is the only county in the state to get a “pizza” the road repair pie, as delivery giant Domino’s wraps up a 50-state pothole repair campaign to promote its pie dispatch service.

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The County Council accepted the money Wednesday with a resolution thanking Domino’s for its generosity.

It’s a great donation,” said South Kona/Ka‘u Councilwoman Maile David. “Thank you, Domino’s. I have a lot of potholes in my district, too.”

Public Works Director David Yamamoto said the county didn’t apply for the grant. The money was simply delivered, although not necessarily in 30 minutes or less.

“They just sent something to us and we said thank you,” Yamamoto said.

It’s not known how many potholes in the county’s approximately 1,500 miles of roadways can be filled with the grant. That depends on the size of the pothole, and the price of cold-mix asphalt, he said.

In Bartonville, Texas, the program bought 75 tons of asphalt, filling eight potholes, fixing three roads, taking eight hours of work, according to a Domino’s report. The same money in Milford, Delaware, filled 40 potholes, fixing 10 roads, with four crew members working 10 hours.

But every bit helps.

The Ann Arbor, Michigan, pizza giant’s “Paving for Pizza” website shows 17 states have fixed potholes with their $5,000 grant, and another 20 are on the way. But a Domino’s spokeswoman said the project has progressed beyond that.

“We are doing one paving project in each state and so this will be the only one for Hawaii,” Jenny Fouracre-Petko said in an email response Wednesday. “We’re nearly done with all 50 states, I think our last one is Arizona!”

The website, https://pavingforpizza.com, features an inside-the-box pothole impact meter, displaying what happens to the pizza as the delivery car hits potholes of different severity.

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Domino’s asked customers for their nominations and they delivered, submitting more than 137,000 nominations from 15,275 different zip codes in all 50 states, an Aug. 29, 2018, press release states.

Founded in 1960, Domino’s Pizza is the largest pizza company in the world based on global retail sales, with a significant business in both delivery and carryout pizza. It ranks among the world’s top public restaurant brands with a global enterprise of nearly 15,000 stores in more than 85 markets, with 97% of the stores operated by independent franchise owners.

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