Monday, May 17, 1999

Construction on
Kakaako street may
disrupt business for some

By Harold Morse


An $11 million project along lower Kamakee Street in Kakaako may take a temporary bite out of business for Bernard's New York Deli at Ward Centre.

art "My thoughts on it are, it's just going to be a big mess, and business has been down enough at the Centre as it is," said Frank Chisholm, general manager of the deli at Auahi Street and Kamakee.

Owner Bernard Horowitz said the project will mar the Christmas season, as patrons won't be used to it. He's apprehensive about heavy equipment and dust.

"I'm practically right in the middle of it," he said. "It's something that in other jurisdictions they do at night, but over here they do it the old plantation way."

The construction will improve drainage and also realign Kamakee to speed traffic flow and make a direct link to Ala Moana Beach Park.

Mitch D'Olier, president of Victoria Ward Ltd., which owns the land, says he sees minimal effect on most nearby businesses.

Beverly Harbvin, president of the Kakaako Improvement Association and an owner of Hon/Hawaii auto repair, 1111 Waimanu St., said, "When you've got somebody like Mitch, I believe him.

"Basically, Mitch D'Olier is very, very aware of the possible impact on those vendors from Queen on down to Ala Moana, and he's been very, very proactive in establishing lines of communication between the contractor, the consultants and the HCDA (Hawaii Community Development Authority) project engineer," she said.

Installation of water, sewer and drainage systems, street-widening and construction of curbs, gutters and sidewalks are planned. Electrical and telephone lines will go underground.

The work -- expected to take about 18 months to complete -- will affect Kamakee Street from Queen Street to Kewalo Basin. The makai portion will include creation of a four-way signalized intersection at Ala Moana Boulevard and Ala Moana Park Road.

The overall project will complete the last major segment of the Kakaako drainage system. "We awarded a contract to the lowest bidder," said Jan Yokota, executive director, Hawaii Community Development Authority. "However, the bidder could not get a bond. As a result, we are rebidding" sometime this month.

"We are working with HCDA to provide input on the bid so that the work will have the least impact on business possible," D'Olier said. "We have traffic engineers working on alternative designs to keep traffic open during all periods of construction. This is a problem Victoria Ward Ltd. is worrying about and will do its best to minimize."

Earlier, a portion of the Kamakee Street box drain went in between Queen and Kapiolani.

"The second phase was taking the box drain across Ala Moana Boulevard to Kewalo Basin."

But with rebidding, everything will be lumped together, Yokota said. "At the same time, we are realigning Kamakee Street to meet Ala Moana Park Road, to create a four-way intersection there."

"We found when they were doing the construction on the upper part of Kamakee, sometimes it was easier for them to close everything down, as far as traffic goes, to the detriment of the businesses," said Harbvin. "So that was a constant battle, keeping traffic flowing during construction. But with that lower portion there's a bigger right of way."

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