Tuesday, March 22, 2011


THE GOLDEN ROAD TO UNLIMITED DEACCELERATION: The resurfacing of county roads- or we should say, the lack of it- is back on the council's agenda tomorrow with new County Engineer Larry Dill once again taking the hot seat.

And although the council has taken a we-don't-want-to-hear-it stance on the past alleged boondoggles and apparently downright corrupt practices regarding the repaving of our decrepit roads- as we detailed last Wednesday- it's hard to see how they go forward without looking at the past, even with the new handy dandy expensive "MicroPaver" software that Dill has touted as the answer to all our problems.

The man who has doggedly pursued the issue for the past 15 years- even bringing in portions of pavement and plopping them on the council's table- Glenn Mickens, has detailed why the past is prologue and today we present his testimony for tomorrow's meeting.


First I want to once again thank Chair Furfaro for keeping this roads paving and repaving issue on the agenda.

Obviously after 15 years of trying to find out why we have been wasting millions of tax payers dollars on wrongly paved and repaved roads with no results, you can understand why I am so happy to see this issue being addressed.

Until I see concrete results, I will remain cautiously optimistic with our new "sheriff" in town, Larry Dill, and be hopeful that he can rectify a long time bad situation.

As far as the Micropower system that Larry wants to implement. I am sure that he knows as well as you, Jay, that any computer program is only as good as the information that is put into it----it cannot "solve" any problem by itself.

So the big question and problem is where are we going to get the road by road, mile by mile report from on current conditions and past maintenance?

We need to have the list that has the up-to-date information on the condition of each road containing the condition of the base, the shoulder, the square footage, the thickness plus the last time it was resurfaced.

There is a saying about computers---"garbage in garbage out" and those words will so well fit this issue if proper data is not fed into the computer.
And the bigger question is, where is that data and who's got it or does it need to be gathered? If so, who is gathering it and what kind of accountability is there for whomever is collecting it? I mean will the information come from a political source as was done with Haleilio Road and Kealia Road where picks of roads were totally NOT in the public’s interest.

Plus, if this information is now available, as it certainly should be, then we certainly don't need a new computer program. All that is necessary is to look at this compiled data and use HAPI standards to correct what was wrongly done and pave and repave by HAPI in all work going forward.

And if this data is not available then Larry's job will be monumental in gathering the information necessary to put in his computer in order to do his job. In fact it could take years taking core samples from our roads to diagnose what has been done and what needs to be done.

Whatever course of action Larry chooses to do will take a HUGE budget. Check the equipment HAPI uses in doing their roads and Larry will need this same equipment when paving and repaving. And as he answered in one of the questions given to him, HAPI will definitely cost more initially but will save a lot more money in the long run with the longevity it gives.

Past and present administrations can shoulder the blame for allowing this deterioration to reach such a high level and council's can also share in that blame for funding this illegal (not done by code) work. But what is done is done and from here on the tax payers want to see their dollars used properly and Larry's past experience in Princeville gives me hope that this can be done.

I don't have the time to question our wrong methods of paving---i.e. our using 1 ton of AC to pave 90 square feet needing 1 1/2" compacted instead of using 1 ton of AC to pave 108 square feet for 1 1/2" as this slide rule shows and that all national paving contractors use. Or why we are still dumping cold mix in pot holes instead of using methods stipulated by code.

The problems are many as I have pointed out for so long and, again, if Larry is going to address them he will need a large budget to do it.

And hopefully the administration can tell us why they have changed their method of resurfacing our roads on a yearly basis to one where they "accumulated" or "saved" budgeted money from one or two years and used it in one given year as they have done in the 09-10 budget. It seems to me that there is something very wrong with that methodology.


Correction: Yesterday we wrote that the county had paid Sunrise Capitol the $250,000 promised in the settlement agreement. Although we made plain in the body of the article that payment was predicated on the provision of receipts we should have said "agreed to pay up to $250.000." We regret the error.


manaranger said...

Regarding code specifications for paving & repaving, why, after carefully monitoring the p & r activities, do the inspectors have to bore several pairs of holes in the new surface in order to determine if the work meets spec? By boring those pairs of holes they are giving birth to the first pot holes in the new surface. We spend our tax dollars to get a street repaved along with an inspection system that guarantees pot holes in the first year. How about filing those inspection bores with epoxy as you create them? We don't need "make work" projects for 'da puka patrol'. They have enough work already!

Andy Parx said...

Thanks for the question Raymon.

The problem is that county inspectors have not been there when the resurfacing was done in the past. Larry Dill has promised to change that and have inspectors on site during the work but in order to find out things like the thickness and what condition the bed in is it may be necessary to drill holes to determine what the current condition is to prioritize work and determine what kind needs to be done. Apparently there is no record of what the current mile by mile condition of county roads is.