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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ala Wai courts still not ready

By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser Columnist

Q. At the Ala Wai Neighborhood Park, the city managed to take a year to rebuild one basketball court and one volleyball court. Four months after the main work was completed, the courts are locked and have never been used. There are no rims on the baskets and no net for volleyball. What's taking so long?

A. That project is close to completion but has been plagued by construction problems, said city Design and Construction Director Eugene Lee. The project involves reconstruction of the play courts, providing disabled access to walkways and ramps, and landscaping work, as well as work on the irrigation system, drinking fountain and lighting.

Lee said the project was delayed last year by construction problems, with work suspended for 120 days. These problems were resolved and the contractor was given a list of construction deficiencies to correct. Still, the work wasn't completed, Lee said.

"We have put the contractor on notice that he is in noncompliance with the contract requirements, and are exploring more aggressive measures to get the corrective work completed so the park can be reopened," he said.

Lee said the last two items are restoring the grass, and repairs to the vinyl-coated fencing. Still, he said the city is targeting resolution by the end of this month. As frustrating as it is to wait, Lee said, "it's important that certain procedures are followed to ensure that the contractual rights of the contractor are preserved."

After his department decides the work satisfies city requirements, the city accepts the project and can install the nets and rims and the park can reopen.

Q. I drive from Kailua to Kane'ohe regularly and twice recently, I've had drivers become angry that I didn't merge quickly enough making a right turn at Castle Junction heading Kane'ohe-bound. What's the problem here?

A. Honolulu Police Capt. Greg Lefcourt said you're right to drive carefully. "That merge is very competitive. The other guys have the right-of-way in the lane of travel," he said. Unfortunately, he said, sometimes people get more stressed during this season. "People need to drive with more aloha."


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