POSTED: Saturday, May 23, 2009

Project to ease jams at merge

The state is spending $1 million to begin a project to relieve traffic congestion at one of Oahu's worst bottlenecks: the Middle Street merge on the H-1 freeway.

The Governor's Office said the money will be used to hire consultants and prepare an environmental assessment for the $100 million project to widen the freeway.

This project will add a new lane from the Middle Street tunnel to the Vineyard offramp, eliminating the current need to merge onto the freeway.

The additional lane will also add a second exit lane to the Vineyard offramp.

The environmental assessment is expected to be completed this summer. The Department of Transportation hopes to put the project out to bid in August. Construction is expected to begin in 2011 and be completed in 2013.


Satellite city hall to reopen

The Kalihi/Kaplama Satellite City Hall and driver's license office at City Square will reopen Tuesday with limited services that include road tests for those who have appointments, financial responsibility and taxicab operations. Full services will resume on Wednesday, pending the results of air quality samples.

The office was closed yesterday following continued complaints of an unknown odor.

The building at 1199 Dillingham Blvd. was also closed May 14-15 because of a complaint of an unknown odor.

The state Office of Hazard Evacuation and Emergency Response reported that the odor was from naphthalene, a fuel oil. A contractor working in the area released the odor.

The state Health Department is treating the incident as a health hazard rather than a health threat. Workers and customers exposed to the odor have experienced headaches and nausea.


Half-staff flag to honor U.S. soldiers

Gov. Linda Lingle has ordered the state flag to be flown at half-staff at all state and county buildings on Memorial Day, from sunrise to noon, in respect for those who have sacrificed their lives for the nation.

The governor's order is in conjunction with President Barack Obama's proclamation that the U.S. flag be flown at half-staff.


Army to address Makua reservation

On Tuesday the Army will hold its second public meeting on the list of cultural sites it plans to clear of unexploded ordnance at Makua Military Reservation.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Nanaikapono Elementary School at 89-153 Mano Ave. in Waianae.

Comments can be submitted by Thursday via e-mail to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), by fax to 656-1039 or mail to U.S. Army-GarrisonHawaii, Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division, Attn: Cultural Site List Comments, 947 Wright Ave., Wheeler Army Airfield, Schofield Barracks, HI 96857-5013.



Pahoa library will close for repairs

The Pahoa Public and School Library will be closed for 2 1/2 months beginning next Saturday for health, safety and accessibility improvements, according to a release from the state library system.

The book drop will also close at 5 p.m. June 5 until the library reopens.

Items requested by library patrons will be sent to Hilo Public Library, 300 Waianuenue Ave., unless other accommodations are made, the release said.

There will be no summer reading programs at Pahoa because of the renovation work. However, patrons are invited to participate in reading programs at the Mountain View library, 968-2322, or the Hilo library, 933-8888.

Patrons are also invited to visit the library system Web site at www.libraries-hawaii.org.