Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Guardrail work near
Kalani purposely slow

Question: Every morning on my way to work on Kalanianaole Highway, traffic is backed up because of work on the center guardrails. A multitude of drivers are inconvenienced by this construction. On most days there are maybe two or three individuals working on the guardrail, and on some days, only one worker on the job. Why can't the state require the contractor to utilize more workers to speed up the completion of this work?

Answer: The state Department of Transportation says work is "progressing slowly" on guardrail work around Kalani High School because it wants to minimize damage to several large trees located in the median.

Transportation Director Rodney Haraga says the department could ask the contractor to speed up the work schedule, but "it would cost taxpayers more unnecessarily."

The work is scheduled to finish on time at the end of this month.

Q: Whose decision was it to put hollow-tile planters along Kalanianaole Highway from Kalani High School to the Aina Haina fire station? These planters leave only one to three feet of walking space, forcing people to walk in a single file. I wondered why students walked on the road to the bus stops by Kalani Iki Park. I then walked from Kahala Mall to Aina Haina and experienced how hazardous it was. Men were replacing the broken hollow tiles for the planters, but they should have knocked them down to make it safer for students and mostly older pedestrians going to the bus stops. Maintenance is extremely poor, with a lot of overgrown weeds and debris. The makai side of Kalanianaole does not have any sidewalks, so we can only use the mauka side for walking. I challenge whoever is responsible for this to try walking there. I hope the proper authorities will remove the planters.

A: The best course is to take your concerns and challenge to the Kuliouou/Kalani-Iki Neighborhood Board.

It's not known exactly when the planters were installed, except that they have been there "a very long time," according to the state Department of Transportation.

The DOT had recommended that the planters be removed when the project to resurface that portion of Kalanianaole was being planned. However, at an April 1, 1999, meeting, the neighborhood board recommended that the planters remain, the department said.

Meanwhile, officials say the sidewalks are at least 3 feet wide along that area, meeting minimum walkway requirements set by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Transportation Department doesn't dispute that maintenance of the planters has been "poor of late," but says that's because of work to repair the guardrails along Kalanianaole.

Because of liability and safety concerns, the landscaping contractor can't "fully service" the area until that work is completed later this month, officials said.


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