Crews start installing fence along Kapalama canal to keep homeless campers away

Homeless tents along Kapalama canal
Homeless tents along Kapalama canal
Published: Sep. 16, 2015 at 9:56 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 16, 2015 at 2:32 PM HST
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KALIHI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - City contractors will continue installing a new chain link fence along both sides of Kapalama canal this week through the end of the year.

Work began Tuesday on the King Street end of Kohou Street with fence post installation.

Barricades and yellow tape are up to alert campers and drivers to the work. And though no homeless campers were spotted along the canal as of Wednesday morning, there were several sleeping on the sidewalk and on the private property of businesses across the street.

PIER construction crews say about 10 men installed nearly 100 posts Tuesday and they plan to continue that work down toward Dillingham Boulevard on Wednesday. Crews will then work on the Kokea Street side, perhaps Thursday and Friday, if all goes well. Then they will go back and roll out the chain link.

When the fence is installed on the Kokea Street side, there will be no parking on the grass for drivers, many of whom attend or work at the nearby Honolulu Community College.

Some businesses are bummed about the parking but say it's worth it in the end to disrupt the encampments that have deterred business at their establishments and increased crime in the surrounding areas.

Once the mauka side of the canal is complete, crews believe they'll start installing posts and fencing on the Dillingham Boulevard to Kalani Street side.

Even though crews have until the end of the year to complete the work, it could be done earlier.

City officials say it'll cost about $230,000 to construct the fence.

More development around the canal is planned in the near future since this Kalihi community has been slated for Honolulu Rail Transit Oriented Development.

Once the fence line is up, violators found loitering or camping along it could face citations with fines up to $1,000 or 30 days in jail, officials say.

Related story:

Mayor Caldwell announces mile-long fence along Kapalama Canal to prevent homeless camps

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