Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Monday, June 18, 2001

DOT still fixing lights
on H-1, H-2 freeways

Question: I live in Mililani and travel on the H-2 freeway and watch the lights being put up, and it seemed that the project was completed when they turned on the lights. They were on for a couple of nights, and now I don't see them on at all. Is the lighting project not completed yet, and when are the lights going to be turned on again?

Q: I work in Wahiawa. Every night, traveling on the H-2, virtually every street light is out, and the whole freeway is pitch black. Are they going to do anything about it? It seems like it's been going on forever and never gets fixed. It gets kind of dangerous since people are traveling at a good rate of speed.

Q: Why are the H-1 lights not put on at night? They were on just for a brief time. Why spend all that money if the lights are not going to be on at night?

Answer: We tried to shed some light on the on-and-off lights of the H-1 two months ago. At that time, Department of Transportation spokeswoman Marilyn Kali said the lack of illumination on the H-1 was partly due to new lights not yet activated and old lights just not working.

"The lights are all working now," Kali said last week, except for a quarter-mile stretch on the eastbound viaduct/airport onramp to the express lane offramp to Nimitz Highway. A work order for repairs for those lights, knocked out by a car crash, has been submitted, she said.

Meanwhile, regarding the H-2, Kali said the new lighting system is not completely installed. The lights were turned on briefly for testing, and that's probably what made motorists think the project was completed.

The contractor is waiting for parts to finish the remaining lights in the new system. Completion is expected in October.

Q: At around 4:45 p.m. Friday, May 25, I noticed two orange cones that were labeled OTCI placed neatly on Piikoi Street near the sidewalk. A few seconds later, a truck pulled up bearing the sign Ohana Telecom Construction Inc. The driver got out, walked over to pick up the orange cones and placed them in his truck. He then proceeded to back his truck into the spot previously occupied by the cones. Is there a new law allowing the reserving of on-street parking?

A: Both the state and city transportation departments allow parts of streets to be "reserved" for certain reasons, but only by permit. Piikoi is a city street, and on that day the only permit issued was to the gas company.

The city Department of Transportation Services notes that a permit is required for "any person and/or company doing any construction, maintenance, engineering survey or any and all other work on, adjacent to, above, below or near any city and county streets and highways ... that may temporarily obstruct any portion of the roadway or sidewalk."

In this case, the driver you saw was a technician performing work in a building on Piikoi, who "exhibited poor judgment in coning off a parking spot in order to pick up additional materials to complete his work," said Aimoku McClellan, general manger for OTCI, which is a general contractor specializing in telecommunications and electrical work.

He was reprimanded, and all technicians were notified that the company does not condone this type of action, McClellan said.

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