Action Line: 9-year wait for city to fix sidewalk

Earlier this week, we told you about the city’s efforts to fix more sidewalks around Oahu asking for five times as much money as they normally spend.

But for almost a decade a Kaimuki resident has been trying to get his sidewalk fixed without any luck.

At the center of this issue is a large tree that sits near the property of Eugene Nobriga Jr.

He says the tree has damaged part of the sidewalk and driveway.

He called Action Line looking for help after getting nowhere with the city.

The city has told Nobriga it would cut down the tree.

“This was from 2005, when the thing started,” Nobriga said.

Nobriga said a large tree near his home in Kaimuki is damaging the sidewalk. The tree’s roots lift up the pavement. He was told by the city this tree would come down, and the city even had work order numbers for the job. But for nine years he says he’s been given the runaround.

“And going one department to the next department, and every six months I check with them again and the person I talked to is retired, transferred, or some excuse,” he said.

He says it’s not just a danger to pedestrians, but also to drivers. He inches his way out of his driveway every time he leaves. He also has close calls with the bottom of his car, nearly scraping it against the uplifted sidewalk.

Not only has the tree damaged the sidewalk but Nobriga also says it’s made several cracks in his wall.

Nobriga has kept notes, names and numbers of city officials he has talked to over the years. He says calling Action Line was his final plea. So KHON2 contacted the city, and spoke to the head of the Department of Facility Maintenance, Ross Sasamura to find out what happened.

“I can’t answer that question. But all I can say is, it’s something that we’re going to address,” Sasamura said.

This issue began years ago under a different city administration, so Sasamura doesn’t know exactly what happened. But he did say they had to determine this was on city property. Now that they’ve determined it’s theirs, they will begin fixing the problem next week.

“Nine years is a long time to wait for anything,” Sasamura said.

KHON2 went back to Kaimuki, and told Nobriga about the news. After nine years of talk, he has some reservations.

“We’ll see, seeing is believing. I’ve been down this road many times before, so when I see the crew out here, I’ll believe,” he said.

But he says he is happy the ball is rolling again.

“I got action from Action Line that’s great,” he said. “Thank you very much, I appreciate it.”

The Dept. of Facility Maintenance will remove the sidewalk next week. Then an arborist with the Dept. of Parks and Recreation will decide whether to cut the roots, or take out the entire tree. Once that’s done, the sidewalk will be replaced.

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