Crews removing truck loads of trash from under airport viaduct

Dean Hughes
Dean Hughes

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Three days after the state kicked out the homeless from under the H-1 Freeway's airport viaduct, crews are still working to clean it up. Workers say they're collecting trash by the truck loads.

Department of Transportation supervisor Dean Hughes and his partner are breaking down a piece of furniture for disposal. So how would he describe the airport viaduct clean-up project in one word?

"Outrageous. Humongous," he said, laughing.

Okay, two words.

Since Monday, state crews and low-risk prison inmates have been removing furniture, clothing, stuffed animals and other items from the area. Homeless people living under the viaduct had to leave some of their belongings behind when sheriffs evicted them, citing health and safety concerns.

"My initial walk-through through this thing, it, I think there's a lot more than what I expected because there were like in the rafters, there were like another house up inside there where you couldn't see from the ground level," Hughes said.

In the first two days alone, workers say they collected about 30 truck loads of stuff. They also filled about four large trash containers.

"They've just been here a lot of years," Hughes said. "And it's just, it's like rat packing, yeah. So that's all I can say. We'll get it done."

Hughes say the fact that the area under the freeway served as someone's home does cross his mind.

"We're all human beings, you know, so we all have feelings," he said. "I guess it's just part of our job that we have to do and, hopefully, they can find someplace safe."

Hughes says state crews are taking the holiday off, and are expected to wrap up early next week.