Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Natatorium ramp
finished after delays

Question: What the heck is going on with the wheelchair ramp being built on the Ewa side of the Natatorium, next to the Waikiki Aquarium, and ending at a small beach? I have a friend who gets around with great difficulty and he was staying fit by swimming there several times a week. But that ocean access has been blocked off by a construction fence for months! He is fast losing his fitness. What can we do to speed up the process?

Answer: Just as we asked the University of Hawaii what was holding up its project to repair the sidewalk behind the aquarium (which is administratively attached to the UH), work actually was winding up.

The project included making the old steps down to the beach compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Construction actually was "completed" Jan. 20, according to UH spokesman Jim Manke, "but some remedial work was required that took additional time." There were also delays in the delivery of materials that put the project behind schedule, he said.

Manke said inspection was completed Friday and the project accepted as satisfactory.

Temporary fencing was removed Monday and the contractor, Haron Construction, did a site cleanup, mainly of leaves, he said.

That doesn't mean there is no fencing and barricades in the area, however.

The city's contractor, C&C Engineering, is now installing stone pavers, which required fencing to be installed on the Diamond Head side of the aquarium.

"The contractor requested that barricades on the Waikiki side remain up until their project has been completed," he said.

The walkway and ramp will be closed to the public until the paving is completed.

Q: Our neighbor wanted to build a new stone wall, which meant getting the old utility pole on his property moved. He arranged, at his expense, to have another pole erected on his property. Hawaiian Electric came and quickly rerouted its line to that new pole. But our neighbor hasn't been able to get rid of the old pole because Verizon Hawaii says it has higher priorities. In the meantime, the pole is causing the old stone wall to lean over onto our property. It's been months. Why hasn't Verizon come out to reroute its line and remove the pole?

A: Shortly after we contacted Verizon, the extra pole was removed, as you verified.

Verizon spokeswoman Ann Nishida said it boils down to safety and service when it comes to setting priorities for pole removals.

"In this case, these were not factors -- no safety hazard posed, no service affected," she said. "Special equipment is required to remove poles and we do remove poles every day, but it takes time."


To the driver of a red Toyota Corolla. Around 7:05 a.m. Friday, March 19, you were speeding down Bishop Street at about 45 to 50 mph. After crossing King Street, you cut across three lanes, just to make a left turn at Queen Street. If you're in such a rush to get somewhere, next time leave earlier. You are a hazard. -- No Name


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