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Public Works - New Releases


Ponahawai Street Resurfacing begins Monday

Starting the week of July 7, and ending early September (weather permitting), the County of Hawai`i Department  of Public Works will be undertake a $1.2 million road resurfacing project for Ponahawai Street, starting from Kapi`olani Street to Kamehameha Avenue.

Two to three days of sewer lateral work will begin the week of July 7 at the intersection of Kīlauea Avenue.  Roadwork will follow at the Kapi`olani Street intersection.  Special Duty Police Officers will be directing traffic at that intersection.

Construction hours will be during the weekdays from 8:15 AM to 4:00 PM.  Street parking will not be available in the area the contractor is working.

The roadwork will also include; Traffic signal system upgrades at the intersections of Kīlauea Avenue, Kino‘ole, and Kapi‘olani Streets, pavement restriping, and adjusting and repairing utility laterals, valves, and boxes.


Ponahawai Street community meeting to discuss road resurfacing

The department of Public Works is conducting a community meeting for businesses and residents on Ponahawai Street Friday, June 20 at the Aupuni Conference Center, to talk with the contractor about the road-resurfacing project.  The community meeting is 1:00-2:30 PM at 101 Pauahi Street.  Parking is free in stalls marked “visitor.”

The Ponahawai Road Resurfacing Project encompasses Kapi‘olani Street to the Kamehameha Avenue intersection and is scheduled to begin the week of July 7.

Jas W. Glover Ltd. will talk about the scope of the project, present a traffic control plan, timeframe and schedule to resurface the road, utility line work, and traffic signal upgrades at three intersections; at Kīlauea Avenue,  and Kino‘ole and Kapi‘olani Streets.

If you require additional auxiliary aid and services for effective communications at this meeting, please contact Department of Public Works at 961-8321 five days before the meeting date to arrange for accommodations.


Mapping Palai-Waiakea Stream

Owners of property along the Palai Stream in South Hilo are receiving letters from the County of Hawai‘i, Department of Public Works this week.  The letter informs them of proposed floodplain changes to the “Flood Insurance Rate Maps” or FIRMs covering their property, the processes before FIRMs are effective, and the course of action if a property is mapped incorrectly.

In April 2014, the Department of Public Works submitted a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) to the Federal Management Agency (FEMA) proposing changes to the existing 1988 FIRMs for Palai Stream in South Hilo. 

These proposed changes submitted to FEMA are based on better topographic data and an improved modeling technique to determine the flood risks, and flood insurance rates that help Hawai‘i County with floodplain management.

The benefits of updated Palai Stream Flood Study Flood Insurance Rate Map will provide:

  • a better understanding of flood hazards for planners; and
  • detailed information where to build, and to make financial decisions about protecting a home or business property.

The County of Hawai‘i and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), continue to work on solutions to mitigate damage during flood conditions.

Your flood risk is indicated by three colors: Grey is the current flood risk.  The proposed changes are in blue and red.  The green lines are engineer marks, as are the cross section in black. These are large files and will take a second to download.

Palai Stream Maps 1, 2, 3,




Makai lanes on Kamehameha Avenue will close tomorrow


The Pauahi Street/Kamehameha Avenue intersection will be modified.  The left turn pocket on Kamehameha Avenue will lengthen to permit the flow of Hilo-bound traffic.  The center island on Kamehameha will also be modified to accommodate the radius of trucks turning on to Bayfront.

Pedestrians should use the sidewalks on the mauka side of Kamehameha Avenue.

During construction, please expect traffic delays and provide extra time to travel through the work zone.  Businesses along Kamehameha Avenue and in Downtown Hilo are open as usual.

The Department of Public Works began reconstructing the four-lane roadway, on March 3, 2014.  Estimated completion is mid-2015.  For project details go to

 The Federal Highway Administration is paying eighty (80) percent of the $13 million estimated cost and the County the remaining twenty (20) percent.


Traffic pattern will change on Ponahawai Street to Pauahi Street

The traffic pattern on Kamehameha Avenue from Ponahawai Street, to the Pauahi Street intersection will be one lane of travel in each direction on Monday, March 3.  Vehicle traffic will shift to the mauka (mountainside) lanes. This traffic pattern is tentatively scheduled to remain through September 2014.

 Travel through Pauahi Street will be maintained and left and right turns will be allowed at the Pauahi Street intersection.

Two public parking lots on the makai or ocean side of Kamehameha Avenue will remain open. Motorists may access both by using new, temporary entrances off of nearby Bayfront Highway. The Hele-On Bus park-and-ride lot located closer to downtown will be open to northbound and southbound traffic. However, only southbound motorists may enter the other lot, sometimes called the “Cow Palace” parking lot and located near the Pauahi Street intersection. 

 The contractor will set up the new traffic pattern and access to the parking lots on Sunday, March 2 from 8:00 PM to 6:00 AM.

 Alternate routes to Downtown Hilo are Kīlauea Avenue, Kinoole Street, Manono Street, and Waiānuenue Avenue. Businesses are open as usual in the area.

  The Kamehameha Avenue Bayfront bus stop and Park & Ride, including the South Kohala Hele-On bus was temporarily relocated to the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium during the scheduled Kamehameha Avenue reconstruction.

During construction, please expect traffic delays.  Provide extra time to travel through the work zone. 

The Department of Public Works is reconstructing the four-lane roadway and sidewalks on Kamehameha Avenue while improving the drainage and upgrading the traffic signal at the Pauahi Street intersection.  The project will also add curb ramps; left turn pockets; center left turn lanes; bike lanes; and installing LED streetlights.

The Federal Highway Administration is paying eighty (80) percent of the project cost and the County the remaining twenty (20) percent.  The project is scheduled to take 18 months with estimated completion for July 2015.