City bathrooms to take 3 years to repair

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When some people get out of Maunalua Bay, there’s a bit of confusion.

“Yeah, it’s a pretty big parking lot, so it was kind of difficult to figure out,” visitor Diego Perez said.

Perez says its difficult to find the bathrooms at Maunalua Bay.

“Where you’ve had three administrations, three mayors and still you have a simple thing of hooking up toilets not working,” said Rep. Gene Ward (R) Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley.

KHON2 found out why the restrooms are not working.

The restrooms used to be on a cesspool system. The city shut it down in Feb. 2011 because it had to meet EPA standards.

The city needs to connect the restrooms to a private wastewater system that’s located on the other side of Kalanianaole Highway.

KHON2 wanted to know why the repairs taking so long?

“From my point as an engineer, it’s not long. Our normal construction contracts like this would be somewhere in the neighborhood between nine months to a year,” Department of Design and Construction P.E. Director Chris Takashige said.

But this facility, has been closed for two-and-a-half years.

“We’ve had to go through various properties, state highways, underneath state highway, Bishop Estate to tie in. We had some other coastal zone issues because the bathroom is close to the ocean,” Takashige said.

KHON2 dug deeper and found that fixing the bathrooms required many approvals.

It took the city more than a year to put together the plan to submit to the Department of Transportation in March 2012. It was approved six months later. Kamehameha Schools gave its blessings in July — the major utilities, in the fall — and the contractor was awarded the bid this past April.

“It’s getting to be for a government official to be embarrassed at something that takes so long to get so little accomplished with what I think is not a rocket science project,” Rep. Ward said.

“Hope they fix it soon, I don’t know why it would take them three years to fix something like that,” Perez said.

“Oh, I’m so sorry, is all I can say. I do agree that it’s been quite a long time,” Takashige said.

The contractor has 240 days to finish the project.

The city says these restrooms should reopen by the end of next January.

The city has been paying about $550 a month for porta potties that are nearby.

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