Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Monday, November 12, 2001

Special manhole held up
street project in Kakaako

Question: Regarding the intersection of Queen and Kamakee streets in Kakaako: The area has been under construction for more than a year, but it seems as though nothing has been done for several months. What's going on?

Answer: The contractor is awaiting the arrival of a special "nonstandard" manhole.

The current $10.9 million project, which began in late November, 1999, is to complete the last major segment of the drainage system for the "Kakaako Mauka" area, as well as to realign Kamakee Street and create a four-way signalized intersection at Ala Moana and Ala Moana Park Road, said Jan Yokota, executive director of the Hawaii Community Redevelopment Authority, which oversees development in Kakaako.

Work had to be halted several weeks ago because the city asked for an additional manhole to be installed over an existing sewer main in Kamakee Street, Yokota said. The manhole had to be specially designed.

"After several reviews the city has just given its final approval of the design," Yokota said last week. The contractor plans to start the sewer manhole work tomorrow, then will begin repaving the intersection at the end of November. The HCDA has directed the contractor to fix the potholes and steel plates at Queen and Kamakee streets, Yokota said, and paving and striping should be completed in mid-December.

The good news is that no additional improvements to Kamakee Street are planned. However, Yokota said the HCDA does plan to construct an extension to Queen Street from Kamakee to Waimanu Street. This project is expected to start in September 2002.

Q: I was struck recently by a car that ran a red light, and my wheelchair landed on top of me. People jumped out of their cars before the ambulance got there and tried to help. One pulled on one arm, and the other pulled on the other, hurting me worse. They should not do this unless they are doctors because they could harm you for life. I told them to please stop because I am already paralyzed, but they got mad and walked away saying, 'Help yourself.' Can you tell people they should talk and comfort the victims but wait for the experts to come?

A: Hawaii being the kind of place it is, "everybody wants to help," noted Donnie Gates, assistant chief of operations for the city's Emergency Medical Services Division.

However, EMS advises people that if they come across a situation like the one described, they should provide reassurance and comfort, but they should not move the victim unless that person's life is in jeopardy -- for example, Gates said, if a victim is in a car and the car is in danger of catching fire.

"Only under extreme emergency conditions do we recommend moving anyone prior to professional help arriving because moving them improperly could cause life-ending or life-crippling injury," Gates said.


To everyone who helped my 89-year-old father when he slipped and tumbled while going down the escalator in Sears Ala Moana on Sunday, Oct. 7. Before his head got to the landing, the escalator was stopped and people rushed to his aid. A young man with a medical background checked his vital signs and remained until paramedics arrived. Other customers and employees of Sears assisted as well, including Sue from Sears, who stayed the entire time until we left for the hospital. My father received a lot of deep cuts, especially to his face, but these are healing very well and he was not injured internally. We are forever grateful to everyone who helped us. -- Patricia Kuroiwa

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