EXCLUSIVE: Repairs trip up Castle H.S. track

EXCLUSIVE: Repairs trip up Castle H.S. track

KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's Castle High School's field of dreams. A $5 million makeover that helped boost civic pride in the Windward Oahu community.

But just two years after it was completed, the track has been shutdown for repairs.

"We really need to get this back up and running and I'm looking forward to us getting to the root causes of this problem, getting it addressed and getting it fixed," said state Sen. Jill Tokuda, (D) Kaneohe, a big backer of the project.

"I think it's definitely unfortunate that after just two years we're experiencing these issues."

The all-weather track is a major venue for high school events. At its dedication ceremony in 2012, one of Castle High's most celebrated grads -- Olympic gold medal winning decathlete Bryan Clay talked about the improvement from the old cinder track he used to run on at the Kaneohe school.

"I think this track is amazing and it's great," Clay said then.

But this is what it looks like today: Construction cones and yellow caution tape surround rectangular sections of the running lanes that have been removed. And the exposed areas reveal where the underlying asphalt has expanded and even cracked, creating the bubbling on the track.

There's been no bubbling beneath the football field so that portion of the field is being used by the football and soccer teams. Runners for now are doing their training on the football field.

As a precaution, contractor MEI Corporation is testing to see if the underlying asphalt is the problem or if it's a more isolated flaw that's causing the bubbling.

If it's an isolated problem, it's simply a matter of replacing the affected areas, which could be done in a matter of weeks. But if big chunks of the asphalt are bad, the track could require a much bigger fix.

Fortunately, the track is under warranty so that taxpayers won't have to foot the bill. But its a major inconvenience for students and residents who haven't been able to use the track for weeks.

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