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City Filling Potholes in Kaka‘ako Under Street Ownership Agreement

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The City and County of Honolulu has begun filling potholes on Kaka‘ako streets acquired by the state earlier this year.

Work started Tuesday on Cummins, Queen, Waimanu, Kawaihao and Ilaniwai streets in Honolulu. The roads will remain open during the repairs.

The city previously maintained the publicly used roads but stopped a few years ago as a court case disputing the street ownership went through the courts. In February, the Hawai‘i Circuit Court ruled that the streets belonged to the state, and not to the Kaka‘ako Land Company.

The case is ongoing, but under a new agreement, the city will maintain the streets. The state also plans to eventually transfer ownership to the city.

“For now we're going to be doing first aid essentially. We're repairing potholes today just to try and make the roads a little more drivable," said Roger Babcock, director of the Department of Facility Maintenance. "In addition, we will consider doing smaller repaving projects in the worst areas in order to make the roads usable in the interim and sort of the medium-term."

"In the long term, once we accept the roads, they become city roads, then we'll go through a process of establishing what should be here next--where the parking should be, where the striping should be, where there should be sidewalks and things like that," he said.

In the future, Babcock said the roads will have to be redesigned to current standards such as improving drainage. He said public input will be involved as the city moves forward.

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