City agency can handle reports of junk
: I often walk on Ala Moana between Aloha Tower and the Ward Avenue area. Across from the old CompUSA on the makai side of Ala Moana Boulevard, Diamond Head of Forrest Street, is a blue tarp. I initially thought it belonged to a homeless person. After many months my curiosity got the best of me, and I lifted the tarp. The area is covered by oily rags and oil/chemical-covered cans and bottles. It appears as though someone is dumping chemicals from perhaps a mechanics garage. It is so bad that these hundreds of partially saturated recyclables are not even being picked up by people who recover plastic bottles from nearby rubbish cans. Whom do I contact? Besides being an eyesore, it also appears to be potentially dangerous.
Answer: The appropriate office is the city Department of Planning and Permitting.
Based on your complaint, an inspector was sent to the site and confirmed your initial thoughts: The tarp was used by a homeless person living on the sidewalk area.
The Honolulu Police Department was notified, and the tarp was removed, said Art Challacombe, chief of customer service for the Department of Planning and Permitting.
However, the junk, presumably nonhazardous, was left for the state to dispose. That is because that part of the sidewalk is under the jurisdiction of the state Department of Transportation, Challacombe said.
The inspector contacted the Transportation Department to have the junk removed and the area cleaned, he said.
The easiest way to report something like this is to contact the city Department of Customer Service's complaints office.
Call 768-4381, e-mail email@example.com or go online at www.co.honolulu.hi.us/csd/publiccom/fixit.htm.
Q: When will the state Department of Transportation complete the bridge work on Kamehameha Highway over Halawa Stream near the Arizona Memorial? It has been years since the project started.
A: A new replacement bridge over Halawa Stream will not be opened to traffic for another 14 to 18 months.
Initially targeted for completion in July 2006, work on the bridge was waylaid early that year by the unexpected unearthing of "an unidentified cable conduit" across the stream ("Kokua Line," Oct. 26, 2006).
We were told work could not resume until the conduit was relocated, but that the first task was to determine to whom it belonged and what it was for. Because there are so many military facilities in the area, the Transportation Department said it needed to be thorough in its research.
It eventually was determined that the Army was the owner of the underground communications line, said transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa.
After the line was moved, "we sat down with the contractor on discussing extra drilling work and increase in wages and material costs (caused by) the delay."
The delay added a little more than $1 million to the original $7.2 million project cost, he said.
Crews resumed work on the bridge in February.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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