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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Old water tank to be removed from slopes of Koko Crater

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Writer

HAWAI'I KAI — The city will pay Kaikor Construction Associates $75,200 to remove an unused, unsightly water tank on the slopes of Koko Crater above Hawai'i Kai Drive.

The project was identified early in the city's vision team process, and the community decided in 2000 it was worthy of taxpayer money, as many considered it an eyesore. No one knows who built the tank or how long it's been up, but longtime residents say it was there before there was a Hawai'i Kai, possibly going back to the 1940s.

Steve Baginski, Kaikor Construction Associates vice president, said work will begin as soon as his firm and the city can agree on the best method of removing the 500,000-gallon tank. There is no access road leading to the tank, and methods of removal being discussed include a temporary accessway from the Koko Crater Botanic Gardens or a temporary path from Ahukini Street.

"We're still going through the details as far as access," Baginski said. "We don't want to turn the area into a trail for four-wheel-drive vehicles."

The project went out for bid in June 2001, and the contractor was given approval to start April 8, said Carol Costa, city spokeswoman. The vision team had appropriated $50,000 for the job in 2001 and an additional $30,000 in the 2002 budget year.

The project, which includes removing the tank, leveling the ground and capping any water lines leading to the tank, should be completed by early August, Costa said.

"I know the community is anxious to get rid of this eyesore," she said.

Baginski said asbestos and lead paint were found in the tank, which will require special handling.

"All of this has to be handled and monitored," he said. "We want to try to avoid contact with the residents. Usually construction and residents don't mix very well. No one wants big machinery to go through their back yard."