Grading Done on Western End of Saddle Road; Paving Next
by Dave Smith
Federal highway officials today said a major milestone has been reached in the latest phase of improvements to Saddle Road.
Grading had been completed for the 10.3-mile section on the western end of Saddle Road which runs through the Keamuku area acquired by the US Army in 2006. It will connect Saddle Road with Highway 190 two miles south of the Waikoloa Road junction.
Officials said the work, which cost $33.7 million and involved moving 1.2 million cubic yards of soil and rock, was finished six months ahead of schedule.
Paving of the roadway is scheduled to begin in January, with completion expected in August of next year, the Hawaii Department of Transportation said in a statement.
Goodfellow Bros. is the contractor for the $30.8 million paving portion.
This phase will allow motorists to bypass the hilly and narrow western end of Saddle Road, an area known as the Seven Steps.
So far 31 miles of the 47-mile-long Saddle Road have undergone major improvements in the past five years.
The project is being overseen by the Federal Highway Administration with assistance from the state DOT.
Highway officials are now studying the final phase of the final western improvements, an extension from Highway 190 down to Queen Kaahumanu Highway.
***Updated to correct the total amount of Saddle Road improved.***