Accident renews
calls for stoplight

A Leeward teenager remains
hospitalized after being struck
by a car in a crosswalk

By Leila Fujimori

Leeward Oahu residents say they're upset with delays in putting up a stoplight on Farrington Highway where a 15-year-old Nanakuli High School student was hit by a truck Monday.

"If that job had been done correctly, that girl wouldn't have been in the situation she had been in," said Jane Ross, a Nanakai Gardens resident who had been asking for a traffic signal light there for years. "It was an accident waiting to happen."

The girl was crossing Farrington Highway at Waiomea Street in a crosswalk from makai to mauka at 7:07 a.m. when she was hit by a red sport pickup truck heading townbound and driven by a 42-year-old Nanakuli man.

The teen was taken by helicopter in stable condition to Queen's Medical Center with shoulder, upper arm and leg injuries, police said.

Because the girl is a minor, Queen's would not release her condition.

Police Sgt. John Agno of the Traffic Division said: "We have had quite a few accidents in that area within the last two years."

Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D, Waianae) said people driving on Farrington speed up as they near the H-1 freeway. If there had been a traffic light operating there, traffic would have slowed, she said.

The original project to install the traffic signal began in April 2001 and was scheduled to be finished in December, said state Department of Transportation resident engineer Art Sickels. But there were numerous delays.

He said the job should be completed by mid-September.

Sickels said the original plan to create left-turn lanes was delayed as plans grew to a complete intersection overhaul. The department has built new bus pads, pull-outs, and shelters; pedestrian curb ramps; and a new concrete median barrier wall.

"Everything but the traffic signal system and final paving is done, pending the wall," he said. A final portion of the poured-in-place, fixed concrete barrier must be completed. The traffic signal pole must be mounted on the wall. The concrete pedestal for the pole was poured yesterday, Sickels said.

Ross, a neighborhood board member and community association member, said she persuaded the Transportation Department to put in a traffic light after a mother and child were killed at the intersection, after years of pushing for a signal.

Ross said the state told her the reason for the delay was one of the subcontractors didn't do the job correctly and had to take it down. The concrete barrier came down three times, she said.

But Sickels said he could not comment on other reasons for the delay, and referred calls to the Department of Transportation public affairs office for any further comments.

Public affairs did not respond yesterday to questions.

E-mail to City Desk


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