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Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Moanalua is actually
part of interstate


Question: Recently, when I was traveling Koko Head-bound on the Moanalua Freeway, near Red Hill, I noticed that several signs had changed. The signs indicated a new interstate freeway, "H201," rather than "State Hwy 78." I didn't see the signs when I was heading Ewa-bound, probably because they haven't been changed yet. I knew the freeway was being closed due to roadwork, but I didn't know it was being renumbered. Why the change?

Answer: It will probably surprise a lot of motorists that Moanalua -- shown on road maps as State Route 78 -- is officially Interstate H-201, at least between downtown Honolulu (west of Exit 19) and Exit 13, near Aloha Stadium.

If you check online, there are several references to this "secret" designation, which is actually almost 15 years old.

The Federal Highway Administration added that part of what was formerly Moanalua Road to the federal Interstate system on Nov. 1, 1989. The rest of Moanalua -- about a three-quarter-mile stretch west of H-1 Exit 13 until it merges with Kamehameha Highway -- is officially State Route 78.

We asked the state Department of Transportation last Thursday why the "H-201" signs went up after all these years, but couldn't get an answer by yesterday. We also asked if there was any truth to some online explanations that one reason they weren't put up earlier was because "H-201" couldn't fit in a large enough size to be easily seen on the official interstate signs.

Another reason supposedly is that the Transportation Department didn't want to confuse motorists with the two designations.

We'll do a follow-up after we return from vacation in August.

Q: There are two homes under construction in the Liliha-Puunui area. Is it legal for the contractor to leave a portable toilet on city property -- the sidewalk area? Shouldn't the portable toilets be placed on the property?

A: It depends on whether a permit was issued.

To legally locate a portable toilet on the city's sidewalk area, the homeowner or contractor must get a Street Usage Permit from the city Department of Transportation Services.

Without such a permit, the portable toilet must be placed on private property, said Carol Costa, director of the city Department of Customer Services.

If you suspect there is no permit, call the city Department of Planning and Permitting's Residential Enforcement Branch, at 527-6308.

Mahalo

To the unknown lady who found my husband's wallet at Daiei on Kaheka Street on Monday, July 12. We were waiting to pay for our purchases when she approached my husband to confirm his name. She had found his wallet in the parking lot. She walked all over the store looking for him and said she recognized him from his driver's license photo. Until then he did not realize that his wallet was lost. As he was in such shock over her honesty, he was speechless and did not ask her name or thank her properly. We do not want our names mentioned, but we are listed in the phone book and pray that she will read this and call us so that we can thank her properly. -- Grateful Shoppers


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