Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, March 10, 2006

Roadwork is welcomed

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Central O'ahu Writer

Community leaders in Waipahu are embracing a six-month state roadwork project along a 3 1/2-mile stretch of Farrington Highway that may cause some lane closures.

"A little inconvenience for a while is going to be worthwhile in the long term," said Darrlyn Bunda, executive director of the Waipahu Community Association.

The Department of Transportation has contracted Grace Pacific to do its Farrington Highway rehabilitation project from Old Fort Weaver Road to Kamehameha Highway. Grace Pacific, which will repave the road for just over $5 million, plans to begin work in April, said DOT spokesman Scott Ishikawa.

The repaving work combined with the DOT's planting of trees and shrubs along the Farrington Highway median through Waipahu town will create a noticeable change, Bunda said.

"You can see the major difference the trees and shrubs have made through Waipahu town," Bunda added. "When the repaving is completed, (Farrington Highway) won't look like just a strip with cars."

Ishikawa said DOT decided against doing night roadwork because of the apartment buildings along the strip.

The project is another step in the revival of Waipahu town.

Community pride in beautification is also evident in efforts to wipe out graffiti.

"We did a community paintout in January and have the next one planned for April," said George Yakowenko, chairman of the Waipahu Neighborhood Board. "There's over 350 volunteers and the Lighthouse Outreach has been regularly going out to do cleanups and graffiti paintouts.

"I think we're becoming more community-oriented and the Waipahu Community Association is spearheading it," Yakowenko said. "We are not going to let the bad people take over our community."

The opening of the Festival Market on Waipahu Depot Road has been pushed back to early 2007 because of construction permitting delays. But Bunda believes the indoor market, featuring vendors selling fresh ethnic vegetables and seafood, will draw people to Waipahu.

Reach Rod Ohira at rohira@honoluluadvertiser.com.