Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Sunday, October 02, 2016
HIDOT Fails to Answer -- $78K Administrative Cost Per Mile
By Andrew Walden @ 11:46 PM :: 3343 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, Taxes

by Andrew Walden

Does the Hawaii Department of Transportation spend $77,962 per mile administrative costs each year? 

The Reason Foundation says so.  In its 22nd Annual Highway Report released September 22, Reason found Hawaii’s per-mile administrative costs to be second-highest in the USA.  The number is only slightly lower than the $90K per mile administrative costs cited in Reason’s 2014 report.

But HIDOT spokesperson Tim Sakahara disagrees.  The Star-Advertiser September 28 paraphrases Sakahara as saying, “most of Hawaii’s 2013 administrative total actually went toward debt service on DOT projects, and if stripped away the administrative costs per mile were closer to $18,000.”

With HIDOT pushing for more tax and fee hikes, these figures will surely be cited in the upcoming legislative debate.

So which is correct?

The day the Star-Advertiser article ran, Hawai’i Free Press contacted Sakahara and the authors of the Reason study and asked each to detail the sources of information which justify their conclusion.

Within a few hours, Reason study co-author David T. Hartgen, Ph.D., P.E., Emeritus Professor, UNC Charlotte, got back to us with this reply:

Our numbers come from the DOT submittals to the federal government for the HI state-owned road system, so if they are ‘wrong’ then the DOT needs to say why they submitted them ‘wrong’. I am attaching the spreadsheet I use for my report, Table SF-4 from ‘Highway Statistics’ 2013 (also here:  -- look in statistics and pubs, then Highway Statistics, then 2013.)

This table shows that in 2013 Hawaii, with a small state-owned highway system (1016 miles), spent $207.2 million on capital and bridge actions, $64.47 million on maintenance, and $79.177 million ($77,962/mile of responsibility) on administration and planning. Debt service is a payment on prior projects, and is an annual payment and part of each state’s budget. The table also shows that HI paid $20.245 million in interest, and $30.813 million in principal. But those are SEPARATELY reported, not in the ‘administration’ category in the table, so I am confused about the spokesperson’s explanation. I also note that HI is one of just a few states that spent more on administration than on maintenance. But even assuming the Dot spokesperson is right, an administrative disbursement of $18,000/mile of responsibility is almost twice the national average ($10,051). If HI’s administrative cost/mile is $18,000, its overall ranking would be 47th, instead of 48th.

My report also finds that although HI has about 2½ times the average state’s money, per mile, to work with, yet HI ranks 48th in percent of deficient bridges, 40th in congestion delay, 46th in rural primary condition, and 50th in urban interstate condition (HI has no rural interstate roads). These are also the state’s statistics as submitted to FHWA. We rated the system 48th overall in cost-effectiveness.

I would be very curious as to their explanation of how, with 2½ times as much money, per mile, as the average state, they rank in the bottom fifth in terms of condition.

One would expect Sakahara to have a ready source for his $18,000 figure.  But after two days, the HIDOT spokesperson wrote back:

I am gathering information on your request and will respond as soon as possible.

That was Friday September 30.  If Sakahara gets back to us with a substantive answer, we will update this report.


Attachment: Hawaii Spreadsheet

Background: Cost-Effective? Hawaii Highways Rank 48th Thanks to HIDOT ‘Administrative Disbursements’


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A'ole Eradication

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Friends of Lanai

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America


Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii Open Budget

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Senate Informer

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Hawaii Votes

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu TEA Party

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

Hunting, Farming and Fishing Assoc.

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

No Hawaii Beverage Tax

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

OHA Lies

Ohana Policy Group

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

TEA Party Maui

TFB Micronesia

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

United Veterans Hawaii

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

YAL UH Hilo 





Maui TEA Party
Maui TEA Party