Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Punchbowl project
is in compliance

Question: When, oh when, will the construction work be pau on the slopes of Punchbowl? In Kokua Line of Oct. 8, 2003, the deadline was given as August 2004. For over a year, thousands of people in this area have been suffering all day, every day with constant noise from rocks being tipped from one metal container into another, heavy equipment engines, and vehicle backup beeping. Many times, work has been done on Saturdays, Sundays and after 6 p.m. "because of a misunderstanding!" Constant, loud noise is a known contributor to ill health. If the same area is used as a base for future projects, residents should organize to protest and possibly sue for harassment.

Answer: The Board of Water Supply says it has looked into reports of work being done outside the "appropriate" hours and found that it wasn't happening.

The deadline for completion of the $3.52 million Punchbowl Water Systems Improvement Project now is the end of December.

Work has been delayed because 20-inch-valve manholes had to be redesigned, according to Keith Matsumoto, capital projects executive with the Board of Water Supply.

The contractor is installing permanent trench pavement, which Matsumoto said last week might account for the noise, dust and trucks in the area.

"However, to our knowledge, the contractor has not been working on Saturdays, Sundays and evenings since the one incident in September 2003, when a subcontractor scheduled a Sunday- morning job," he said.

Matsumoto said a Board of Water Supply construction inspector investigated reports from a resident that the contractor was working before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m., but found it was not true. The contractor was said to be working "at the appropriate times," he said.

However, he said refuse trucks doing regular pickups on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the area "could have contributed to the reports of noise and beeping as they backed out onto the streets."

Matsumoto also noted that Board of Water Supply crews had to work into the night to repair a broken water main on Spencer Street a few months ago. But that was the only reported instance of work after 6 p.m.

"Our construction engineering staff has been working with the members of the community to alleviate any problems concerning this project," Matsumoto said. "They have also been coordinating with city contractors who are now paving Thurston Avenue and other streets in the area."

The project is to upgrade water mains, improve fire protection and replace 70-year-old pipes.


To Alii and Susan who, on Tuesday, Nov. 9, were so very kind. At the entrance to Kakaako Waterfront Park, they saw me with a very flat tire. They came to my aid, struggling to get the jack out, changing the tire and so forth. It took them 45 minutes in the very hot sun. I am so very grateful to them for their kindness. May God bless them. -- Josephine


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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