Honolulu Star-Bulletin - Kokua Line
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Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, May 4, 1999


Kalakaua hang-up:
Why so long?

Question: Construction on Kalakaua Avenue between Ala Wai bridge and Ena Road has been going on for over a month and is causing major delays getting into Waikiki. What's going on?

Answer: A street light improvement project.

The city is removing wooden poles on the makai side of the street and "undergrounding street lights and Oceanic cable," said Gerald Hamada of the Mechanical and Electrical Design and Engineering Division of the city Department of Design and Construction.

The Convention Center Authority had asked the city to place the utilities underground so that it could give the sidewalk on the makai side of Kalakaua a face lift, Hamada said.

The contractor has until August to complete the $500,000 project, which began March 9, Hamada said. The hope is that it will be completed sooner.

But shortly after the current project is completed, another contractor will be working on Kalakaua between Ala Moana and Kapahulu, Hamada said.

Tapa

Q: About 2 a.m. Feb. 14, we called 911 and I was taken to Kuakini Hospital in an ambulance. But I've been wondering, why was this ambulance so bare? It was more like a moving truck. There was nothing inside - no seat for the attendant or lights or any equipment.

A: Based on the more detailed information you provided, Donnie Gates, assistant chief of operations for the city's Emergency Medical Services Division, tracked down the ambulance that took you to the hospital that night.

Records show that the ambulance that transported you - City & County 5944 - was the one assigned to the Kapahulu station - a 1996 Ford, "fully stocked and operational," Gates said

That ambulance "runs out of that station 24 hours a day. It's one of our busiest metropolitan stations, so that ambulance contains some of the best equipment that we have," he said.

But more to the point, "The state Department of Health mandates that we have certain equipment and supplies in our vehicles. That supply and equipment list has to be maintained every single time that ambulance goes out," Gates said.

The things you mentioned, such as no place to sit and no lights, did not fit the vehicle's description, he said.

"If an ambulance was in that bad a condition it would not have been out there," he said.

Gates said equipment is put in a cabinet that runs along one wall, covered by clear plastic. There also is a bench for the attendant, he said.

Tapa

Auwe

To the city. They widened Salt Lake Boulevard in the Ewa direction, but when you get to the intersection of Kahuapaani Street, there is only one straight lane toward Aloha Stadium. Why didn't they widen the road immediately Ewa of Kahuapaani? All the traffic is still going to back up. -- No name

(The city did not widen that portion because it is state-owned and outside city jurisdiction, said Roland Libby, deputy director of the city Department of Design and Construction. "We will bring this to the attention of the state," he said. There is a possibility of having two lanes head Ewa there, if the dedicated right-turn-only lane is also allowed to carry traffic going straight, he said.

(Meanwhile, the good news is that finishing touches on Phase One of the Salt Lake widening project should be completed by tomorrow.)





Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to kokualine@starbulletin.com




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