After long delay, Makiki sidewalk work to finish

After long delay, Makiki sidewalk work to finish

MAKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Makiki residents have been walking in the roadway where city crews have torn up a sidewalk for replacement. And those residents have been wondering why the work has taken so long.

About 25 feet of sidewalk have been torn up in the 1700 block of Kewalo Street. It's still long enough to be a nuisance for those who walk along the busy street. Many have them are forced into the road to get around it.

"It is dangerous to walk outside on the road, to get here on this side of the area," said Harry Oneha, who walks his dog twice a day, every day, on Kewalo Street.

"Hopefully, something will happen."

But nothing has been happening here for quite some time, according to residents.

"Each time we walk by, we always wonder, why they haven't fixed the sidewalk yet,"
said area resident Tony Chun, who walks for exercise three or four times a week.

It's been so long since the sidewalk was pulled up that weeds are taking hold in the dirt.

"I would say, about two months. About two to three months, Maybe even longer," said Chun.

The sidewalk was actually removed in June after it cracked and buckled, causing a safety hazard. The damage was caused by the roots of a large tree next to the sidewalk.

The city determined that the roots of the tree would have to be trimmed -- without causing the tree to die. Officials also had to make sure that the sidewalk would still be wide enough to comply with the law.

"Those are serious situations for us so we have to bring in qualified people to make the determination as to how much of the root is going to be removed, and whether there's going to be enough sidewalk left to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act," said Ross Sasamura, director of the city's Department of Facilities Management.

"Hopefully they do a good job," said Chun. "I would hate to see the tree to fall, fall on somebody or on one of the cars and stuff coming down the street."

Residents who were wondering why the work was taking so long contacted Hawaii News Now, which then contacted the city, which says the work will finally be completed next week.

Work to trim the tree roots is scheduled to begin next week and be completed by Wednesday, said Sasamura.

"On the 31st we're supposed to go in and make sure all the forms are in place so that we can actually pour the cement on the first, which would be next Friday," he added.

Residents were happy to hear the news.

"That's wonderful," said Oneha. "That way I can walk right on the sidewalk instead of going on the road."

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