Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Friday, November 12, 1999

Likelike light poles
are worn out

Question: They replaced all the light poles and street lights on Likelike Highway from North School Street all the way up the hill. Those lights looked good to me. I live in Kahaluu. Driving on Kahekili Highway, between Haiku Road and Valley of the Temples, lots of times the lights are all burned out.

I remember one time when the Department of Transportation said the system is 30 years old. So why didn't they change the lights on Kahekili first? Worst, one morning when we were stuck in traffic, my son and I noticed that somebody planted a brand new street light pole in the middle of a tree so that the light wouldn't be able to shine through.

It's on Likelike, a few hundred yards past the cutoff to Kalihi Street as you head toward Kaneohe. Why did they do that? It doesn't make sense.

Answer: The light poles on Likelike are only about 10 years old, compared with the ones on Kahekili, which were installed by the City and County of Honolulu 20 years ago.

However, the Likelike lights are being replaced now because they were "galvanized finished and they did not hold up to the weather as originally expected," said Kelly Lee Sato, Oahu district maintenance engineer for the state Department of Transportation.

The new poles are made of aluminum and are being installed on a "transformer base" to decrease the chances of standing water collecting and corroding the bases of the poles, Sato said.

Seven wood and 79 metal poles are being replaced on the Likelike at a cost of $3.1 million. The work is expected to be completed next February.

Regarding the pole light being blocked by a tree, Sato said trees will be trimmed as part of the project to allow for proper illumination.

As for the Kahekili lights, Sato said their replacement needs to be programmed into a future capital improvement project, possibly by 2005, depending on other projects and the budget. It would cost an estimated $1.5 million to do that job, he said.

"In determining priority, the (maintenance) division uses criteria such as age of the lighting system, availability of replacement parts, number of poles (if any) that may have failed due to corrosion or motor vehicle accidents, and lighting systems that can be added to other improvement projects, such as highway widening," Sato said.

Free console stereo

I want to donate a console stereo, with a phonograph, radio and cassette tape player to some nonprofit group. Comes with two speakers. Good condition. -- R.H.

(Call Kokua Line, 525-8686, and we'll pass on your name and number to R.H.)


To Pat M. and the Kauluwela Community Watch, Dina in the goodies booth, and Mrs. Apio of Kauluwela I for putting on a "Safe Halloween" night for trick-or-treaters. This was the third year we participated and every year, it gets better, especially the games. -- Jason, 3, and Bryson, 7


To six or seven men and women who helped me to my feet so I could limp away to catch my bus when I fell on Alakea Street by the bus stop in front of the District Court building about 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27. Beware of tree planters which may not be even with the sidewalk. Thanks to all who came to my assistance and caring for this stranger. -- Ray J. Belton

Need help with problems? Call Kokua Line at 525-8686,
fax 525-6711, or write to P.O. Box 3080, Honolulu 96802.
Email to

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