PEARL CITY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Motorists headed to and from West Oahu have been driving beneath construction of a cantilevered elevated rail guide way over the H-1 freeway. And some of those motorists claim their vehicles have been damaged there by falling construction debris.
One of those motorists is Alika Kaanapu of Waianae. "Right when we were passing under the rail we heard this, like, 'ping,' right on my windshield."
Kaanapu discovered a small crack on the driver's side of the windshield of his brand new SUV. "I don't know where it came from or anything," he said. "But I suspect maybe it's debris or maybe something fell from the rail."
The original "ding" on the windshield was small, but it's now the size of a dime, and getting bigger.
"The people I talked to said get it repaired as quick as possible because, you know, your whole windshield can crack if you go over a speed bump, or something else hits it."
Kaanapu also filed a police report, although it is hard to determine if whatever hit the windshield actually was from the rail construction project. He also filed a claim with HART, and said that the authority responded quickly.
"We've been in contact with them through e-mail, and our insurance company, also, via phone," he said. "Seeing what our options are, how to get through this process since we are new car owners, also."
In a statement, HART said, "Safety is our top priority, and HART is looking into the claim filed today. We work closely with the contractors to ensure proper safety measures are in place at all of our construction zones.
According to HART, there have been 12 claims filed by drivers about possible debris damage from the bridge work. It said safety staff investigates each claim, and so far, one of those claims has been settled.
Meanwhile, work to extend the elevated guideway on either side of the freeway will continue into next year.