Task force underway to address safety concerns, management for Ewa Beach roadway
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state and city are working to create a task force to figure out how to manage and police a busy roadway in Ewa Beach that’s raising illegal dumping and safety concerns.
North Road in Ewa Beach is about two miles long, but residents call it an eyesore as its lined with illegally dumped vehicles and piles of trash.
Because it’s owned by three different entities, cleaning it up has been a bureaucratic nightmare.
“Because there’s multiple owners and a lot of easements, no one has been able to say, ‘I’m responsible for doing this,’” said city councilmember of District 9, Augie Tulba. “So, a lot of finger pointing.”
The road is split three ways between the US Navy, Ewa Beach Golf Club and the City and County of Honolulu.
“So whenever there’s trash or abandoned car, there’s a dispute over jurisdiction,” said House Rep. Rob McDermott. “The golf course doesn’t have the money to tow cars and pick up the trash, the Navy very good, the city, they try, but not as good as the Navy.”
What’s unique is that all three are unifying to create a task force, which will hopefully eliminate the blame-shifting.
The taskforce will propose recommendations for safety improvements and unified management of the roadway.
“Well I think the fact that all three of us are working together, the city council, the senator and representative, and even other folks are supporting us on this, the transportation chairman,” said McDermott.
“This resolution that we have now is a little bit more teeth to the bite, and hopefully we can get something settled here going forward,” said State Sen. Kurt Fevella.
Residents say a fix can’t come soon enough.
The two-mile straightaway connects community to schools like Campbell High School, churches, parks and other areas of Ewa Beach.
There are no streetlights or complete sidewalks and the further you drive into North Road, the more dumpsites you see.
“I’ve always seen something piling up on the side,” said U’ilani Chow-Rule of Ewa Beach. “And I’ve always wondered, you know who cleans it up because it just kind of is there and then it goes.”
Isabell Sciutto, a volunteer of 808 Clean Up who also lives in Ewa Beach, tries to clean up North Road weekly with her sister.
“And some of it’s just really nasty, disgusting garbage like we get dead chickens and feed bags, and then people who do hunting for pigs,” said Sciutto.
McDermott foresees improvements to North Road be completed in two years.
“So, it’s a safety issue and we’re just trying every idea that we can find to fix,” said McDermott.
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