HONOLULU(KHON2) — Waimanalo businesses owners said they are experiencing a decrease in sales due to the ongoing construction along Kalanianaole Highway.
Noise, dust and traffic are just a few things they are dealing with from the ongoing construction in Waimanalo according to Kalapawai Cafe & Deli manager Christine Grace.
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“There were some days where it was so loud that it would shake the building,” Grace explained. “Then it’s dusty as well. The smell of tar that just permeates every where.”
Hawaiian Island Cafe owner Monique Monk said when construction started the traffic would take about 40 minutes just to get from Olomana Golf Course her restaurant less than a mile away across from Poalima Street.
The construction is impacting their bottom line.
Mook said she’s seen a 30% decrease in her business.
“My regulars would call and ask how’s the traffic is it moving? Cause if it’s gonna take us more than 20 minutes we’re on lunch break, we can’t come,” Mook said.
This is the second and final phase of the Kalanianaole Highway improvements project. A good portion of the highway is being contra-flowed through Waimanalo, and it will likely be that way until the end of the year according to the Department of Transportation.
The $15.3 million project includes repaving, a new drainage system, raised pedestrian crosswalks and bike lanes.
A DOT spokesperson said the goal is:
“To continue the resurfacing and reconstruction of the highway from the end of the Phase 1 limit at Poalima Street out to the vicinity of the makai pier and to reconstruct or construct new sidewalks within the project limits to facilitate safe multimodal access to Waimanalo Town.”
Waimanalo residents like Kukana Kama-Toth said she wishes it was less cumbersome.
“Three-fourths of Waimanalo highway is now under construction,” Kama-Toth said. “Because of the simultaneous roadwork that they’re doing, it’s difficult to get around it.”
She asked why they didn’t do the work at night like they did in phase one of the project.
According to DOT, they opted not to do night work due to concerns about noise, large lights that light up vast areas, worker safety, and cost issues.
DOT said the project will be ‘substantially completed’ by years end. After that, only smaller things like landscaping will be left, and that should have a minimal impact on the community.
“Of course we’ll be very happy once once the road is paved cause it’s been a long time coming. So that’ll be great when it’s done,” Grace said. “But hopefully it gets done soon.”
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“Finish fast yeah,” Mook said. “That would help everybody.”