The LAI Aloha Chapter held its first quarterly meeting of the year on March 13 where President Lee Gee welcomed nine new members.
Pictured below, left to right are: Linda Gee, Chapter President, Kisan Jo (President, Prince Hotels Hawaii and Mauna Kea Resort), Don Clifford (Senior Project Manager, SSFM International), Erik Kloninger (Principal, Kloninger & Sims Consulting), Jeff Overton (Principal, G70), Dean Hirabayashi (SVP & Manager, Commmercial Real Estate, American Savings Bank), Harrison Rue (TOD Administrator, City & County of Honolulu, Department of Planning & Permitting). Not pictured: Steve Sombrero, Michael Takayama, and Lance Wilhelm.
Featured speaker was Ed Sniffen, Deputy Director for Highways, Hawaii Department of Transportation.
Mr. Sniffen reviewed the major natural catastrophe the department has had to handle in the past years, including major slides covering a lifeline highway on Kauai, multi-day fires crossing roads in Maui, several feet of lava covering Highway 130 on Big Island, and slides and coastal erosion along critical circle island roads on Oahu and Maui.
Mitigation measures for the communities that depend on these roads were required over several months while the roadways could be stabilized and strengthened to return to safe use.
The Highway Department is learning new methods for rapid deployment during emergencies as well as new treatments of compromised roads. One promising example is carbon-infused asphalt which lasts as long as concrete but is easier to apply and repair.
Mr. Sniffen said these events are the new normal for the department and they are working with communities to be proactive and inclusive in what they do.
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