Kaneohe Improvement Project Becomes New Problem

Ashley Hidalgo walks with KHNL News 8's Minna Sugimoto on Kahuhipa Street in Kaneohe
Ashley Hidalgo walks with KHNL News 8's Minna Sugimoto on Kahuhipa Street in Kaneohe
Marco Calzadilla
Marco Calzadilla

by Minna Sugimoto

KANEOHE, Oahu (KHNL) -- They came in, ripped out the sidewalk, and then disappeared.

When city crews began a project to fix a crumbling sidewalk in Kaneohe, residents and business owners were thrilled. But the excitement is now gone, and frustration has set in.

They say the repair work is stalled, and there's a growing concern for safety. Now, they're turning to KHNL News 8's Talk Story for help.

"I've tripped so many times coming through here," Ashley Hidalgo, Kaneohe resident, said.

Each day, Ashley Hidalgo goes through a circus routine to get to work.

"It's this funny thing that I call the hip hop 'cause I have to hip hop over all of these things here," she said.

On Kahuhipa Street, large chunks of sidewalk are missing. People who work in the area say repair crews removed the cracked portions of the sidewalk two months ago, and then vanished.

"People come down the road with their strollers. And it's so dangerous 'cause they have to cross the road, and there's no crosswalks here," Hidalgo said. "Elderly people in wheelchairs, they're always having a really hard time."

The Mexican restaurant where Ashley works sits on Kahuhipa Street. The sidewalk project has taken away the street parking the business relies on.

Inside, the cook bounces with excitement when an order finally comes in. The owner of the restaurant says the sidewalk isn't the only thing in need of repairs now.

"We don't have space for parking," Marco Calzadilla, restaurant owner, said. "And so, it's affect my business because some people doesn't come in. They prefer go somewhere else."

Two months and counting. The folks wonder how long could fixing a sidewalk take?

"Should be done in two weeks. That's what I think," Calzadilla said. "So I don't know. The city work like that."

We called the city on behalf of the concerned residents and business owners.

A city spokesperson says one company was hired to demolish the sidewalk. Another is responsible for pouring the concrete. The city says the first company violated the contract because it wasn't supposed to demolish the sidewalk if a new one couldn't be poured within five days.

The companies have until October 3rd to finish it up.