The Department of Transportation is looking to completely repave the Kahului Airport runway, fixing damage it has incurred since its construction by the Navy in 1947.
Since construction of the runway, it has been repaved approximately five times, which has led to cracking and a host of other problems. The current pavement is 16 to 18 inches thick.
Pieces of the runway have been breaking off, causing damage to airplanes and raising concerns about safety. A plane was grounded for two weeks in American Samoa due to this type of damage.
DOT officials do not want to repave the runway this time--they would like to rebuild it. The proposed runway will not need repairs for an estimated 40 to 50 years. The current re-patching program costs $1 million a year, which could be spent on other airport improvement projects. The Federal Aviation Administration stopped funding the re-patching project during the Lingle administration, so the state has to pick up the slack on funding.