Hawai‘i is investing in concrete roadways that last longer, are more energy efficient and have less of an environmental impact than asphalt pavement, states a press release from Rep. Brian Schatz, D-Tantalus, Makiki, McCully.
Schatz is calling for sustainable road construction as a more economic and longer-lasting alternative to resurfacing state roads every few years, saving taxpayer dollars and improving commerce and quality of life.
Schatz, vice chair of the House Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee, supports a long-term plan for making Hawai‘i’s roadways more sustainable, efficient and environmentally responsible, the press release states.
“Every other year we face road closures because asphalt roadways have deteriorated and need maintenance or replacement,” Schatz states in the release.
Schatz says statewide sustainable concrete roadways can receive federal funding and planning assistance, are less dependent on oil products, are less harmful to the environment and would cost taxpayers less in the long run because concrete lasts longer.
“More well-built roads means we would spend less money on repair and maintenance and cars can run more efficiently, and have fewer flat tires,” he says. “In addition, it would make Hawai‘i less vulnerable to the ups and downs of the availability of petroleum products.”
Although the number of highway miles in Hawai‘i is low, the amount of traffic they carry is increasing every year. Schatz cites reports that reveal Hawaiian motorists spend $900 a year on expenses associated with traffic delays, wear and tear and reduced safety due to Hawai‘i’s substandard roads.
Recent rains only compounded the problem.
“The condition of many potholed and rough roads following last month’s devastating rains reinforces the need to focus on ways to improve our roadways,” Schatz says. “A small change, like using concrete instead of asphalt, is one way of making sustainable change.”