HDOT On Track to Meet Pipeline Goal for 2018

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The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) reports that the current balance of unexpended federal funds, also known as the “Pipeline,” is currently down from $758 million in 2014 to $468 million at of the end of June 2018.

In a letter to HDOT Director Jade Butay, the Federal Highway Administration Hawai‘i Division Administrator, Ralph Rizzo, outlined the collaborative progress in the areas of planning, finance, project development, and other project delivery metrics. Division Administrator Rizzo wrote, “…the progress we have made so far wouldn’t have been possible without a strong partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation and a lot of hard work on the part of both our staffs.”

“We’ve efficiently delivered needed highway and bridge projects using a common-sense approach based on public input and data,” said Gov. David Ige. “Our current balance of these obligated funds validates our strategy of proceeding with improvements that benefit large segments of the population over costly capacity projects. We appreciate the assistance and guidance of FHWA Hawai‘i Division staff in this task and the invaluable support from USDOT and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.”

HDOT’s focus on timely safety and system preservation projects as well as refined project delivery procedures led to the progress in spending down the State’s share of unexpended federal funds. The improvement in project delivery also resulted in the receipt of an additional $41 million in the annual FHWA fund redistribution (August redistribution) and $1.3 million in TIGER grant funds in Fiscal Year 2017. The annual FHWA fund redistribution takes unused highways federal-aid funds and redistributes it to states with shovel-ready projects on top of their annual apportionment of federal highways funds, which changes year-to-year but averages at approximately $170 million for Hawai‘i. HDOT received $3.1 million through this funding opportunity in 2015 and has already applied for $20 million in additional funding through the Fiscal Year 2018 fund redistribution.


In 2014 Hawai‘i’s ability to continue to receive federal-aid highways funds was at risk and FHWA and HDOT agreed to set a goal to bring the Pipeline balance down to $450 million by the end of federal fiscal year 2018. Funding for federal-aid highways operates on a cost-share, reimbursement basis, so there will always be a balance of unexpended funds that have been obligated to projects approved through the highways planning process.

Between 2014 and 2018, HDOT has completed paving of 350 lane miles of highway and will be completing installation of 1,279 precast concrete panels on the busiest freeway in the state by September. In the same time frame, HDOT initiated 10 bridge repair or replacement projects and continues working to maintain and operate the 2,500 lane miles and 741 bridges in the state highways system.

The focus on safety and system preservation of the state highways system will continue in 2018 with the following safety projects ongoing or programmed for the near future:

  • Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road Operational and Safety Improvements
  • Farrington Highway Resurfacing: Phase I from Kahe Power Plant to Hakimo Road, Phase 2 from Hakimo Road to Kili Drive
  • Hana Highway Resurfacing, Vicinity of Hookele to Haleakala Highway
  • Honoapiilani Highway Resurfacing, Keanu Street to Kuihelani Highway
  • Kalanianaole Highway Resurfacing, H-1 to West Hind Drive
  • Kuhio Highway Resurfacing, Kuamoo Road to the Kapaa Temporary Bypass
  • Pali Highway Resurfacing, Waokanaka Street to Kamehameha Highway
  • Nimitz Highway / Ala Moana Boulevard Resurfacing, Interstate Route H-1 To Atkinson Drive
  • Kamehameha Highway Resurfacing in Wahiawa

HDOT also has committed to and restarted several long-awaited and complex projects such as:

  • Queen Kaahumanu Highway Widening Phase 2 – This project to widen the existing 2-lane highway in Kailua-Kona to 4-lanes broke ground in September 2015 and faced design and cultural resource issues that resulted in work stoppage in November 2016. The project resumed January 2017 and substantial completion will be next month (August 2018).
  • Farrington Highway Intersection Improvements, Nanakuli Avenue and Haleakala Avenue – This project added a fifth turning lane on Farrington Highway that was opened to motorists in January 2018.
  • Lahaina Bypass 1B-2 – This project to realign Honoapiilani Highway from Olowalu to the previous bypass phase in Hokiokio was awarded in June 2016 and completed in April 2018.
  • Kapolei Interchange Complex, Phase 2 – This project to construct an overpass over the H-1 at Wakea Street along with an offramp to the H-1 westbound and an onramp to westbound Farrington Highway was awarded in July 2015, the expected completion is May 2019.

More information on HDOT projects in progress or planned for the next two years can be found on the Highways Program Status map linked under ‘Current Spotlights’ on the HDOT webpage.

A copy of the letter from FHWA can be found here.



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