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2009 Meeting Highlights

November Meeting Summary

The Hawaii ITE had its monthly luncheon meeting on November 17, 2009 at the City’s Frank Fasi Municipal Building.

The speaker was Dr. Dan Boylan, a history professor at the University of Hawaii at West Oahu, Columnist of Mostly Politics in Mid Week, and Host of Island Insight on PBS. He sat amongst ITE members, imparting his knowledge and views of journalism and politics through his stories.
According to Dr. Boylan, as engineers we have facts and numbers on our side. However, when dealing with the opposition it can be difficult to go up against an ideology that doesn’t believe the facts or tries to skew them. He had the following advice for engineers:
• Tell a story to engage your audience.
• Speak positively of the future and highlight benefits of success.
• Have people see a project for more than its cost.
• Be consistent in what you say.
• Most importantly, keep your cool.
Members asked questions of Dr. Boylan, such as who he feels is a good communicator, how does one know that they are being fair and balanced, and what kind of reactions does he get from his writing? He entertained all our questions and summarized it all by saying that in Hawaii one must be aware of the cultural sensitivity, that certain things are just not the local way.

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Annual Meeting Summary

The Hawaii Section Annual Meeting was held on August 27, 2009, at the City’s Frank Fasi Municipal Building. Based upon a tally of the votes received for the 2009 elections, the following were elected as incoming officers:

Steven Yoshida, President
Honglong Li, Vic President
Sara Toyama, Secretary
Robert Nehmad, Treasurer

The guest speaker from the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT) was Ed Stiffen, head of the Technical Design Services Office. Mr. Stiffen presented two ambitious DOT projects intended to relieve traffic congestion along Interstate Route H-1 and H201. He explained that both Maui and Kauai received $200 million for their projects, the Big Island $150 million, and it is now Oahu’s turn.
The PM contra flow project between Radford and Waiawa is a Design-Build project. The goals of this high impact PM contra flow project is to increase the westbound peak capacity, allow contra flow for the entire freeway, and do so within a short lead time. It is scheduled to be awarded in April 2010 with construction completed by the end of 2011.
The eastbound widening project between Ola Lane and Vineyard, involves modifying six structures without taking away any right-of-way from residents. It is also a Design-Build project with an anticipated completion date in mid 2014.

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July Meeting Summary

The Hawaii ITE had its monthly luncheon meeting on July 8th, 2009 at the City’s Frank Fasi Municipal Building. President Don Hamada opened the meeting by announcing the annual meeting in August.

The speaker, Mr. James Tokishi, is the Hawaii Student Chapter President. He briefed the ITE members the student chapter’s activities for the past two years and thanked Local companies’ support on the student chapter’s data collection research.

Mr. James Tokishi presented his recent presentation at 2nd International Freeway and Tollway Operations Symposium. His presentation summarized the impacts of nine alternatives on the traffic congestion which occurs every day in the H-1/H-201 corridor in Honolulu. Nine Alternatives included that the reversible HOV lanes, Pearl Harbor Tunnel, Pearl Harbor Ferry, Rail, and etc. The mini tunnels were proposed to relieve traffic congestions after the HOV lanes touch down in downtown. The delay and travel time were used as the performance measures and VISSIM was used as the simulation tool.

Several members raised the concern among other questions and comments on the study’s cost-benefit analysis. It was expressed that construction cost for the mini tunnel may be greatly underestimated because of the underground utility relocation and the unknown geotechnical parameters. Mr. Tokishi acknowledged that the cost estimation deserved further investigation due to lack of detailed engineering.

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April Meeting Summary

The Hawaii ITE had its monthly luncheon meeting on April 24, 2009 at the viagra pills City’s Frank Fasi Municipal Building.

The speaker, Mr. Steven Hogan, updated ITE members the City’s Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project. Mr. Steve Hogan is the City’s consultant, the Transportation Planning lead for PB Americas, Inc. He explained the rail technology selections and some examples from other metropolitans. The project cost, funding, and the construction techniques were discussed as well. The first segment of the project from East Kapolei to Pearl Highlands will break ground by the end of 2009 and is expected to be completed in 2013. The Minimal Operational Segment (MOS) from Kapolei to Ala Moana Shopping Center is projected to be operational in 2018.

The members asked the questions such as the comments received on FEIS, the project’s coordination with different City and State agencies, the project’s procurements process. Mr. Steve Hogan concluded by noting that the correct information regarding the project can be accessed at www.honolulutransit.org or the hotline 566-2299. At the end of his presentation, the latest Honolulu transit newsletter was distributed among the members.