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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, June 20, 2003

Safety work on road finished

By Mike Leidemann
Advertiser Transportation Writer

The city has completed more than $210,000 work on Kaukonahua Road designed to improve safety on what in recent years as been one of the most dangerous roads on O'ahu.

The road was reopened to traffic this month after several weeks of daytime closures allowed construction crews to add rumble strips, signs and other improvements, said Cheryl Soon, director of the city's Transportation Services Department.

Since 1994, more than 23 people have died in traffic accidents on the road, which runs between Wahiawa and Waialua.

Many of the accidents were the result of speeding or drivers running off the side of the tree-lined road.

To reduce that toll, the city installed 11,000 feet of center line raised-dot rumble strips, 22,000 feet of raised dots at the side of the road, 19,000 feet of double-yellow center line striping and 22,000 feet of white line striping, city spokeswoman Carol Costa said.

No passing allowed

In addition, passing is prohibited along the entire stretch of two-lane road, and 28 new signs and object markers near trees and boulders were installed, Soon said.

However, the city rejected suggestions that it straighten some of the sharp turns in Kaukonahua Road or remove some of the large ironwood trees that line the shoulders on either side. Those improvements would have cost millions of dollars and were questionable on a road that handles only 9,400 vehicles a day, officials said.

"Hopefully, the changes will be simple but effective," Soon said. "The raised dots are designed to keep people from drifting over the middle of the road or off the side."

Bigger changes would have disrupted the rural character of the road, something that many residents did not want to do, Soon said.