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State crews cleaning homeless camps from APEC route

By Dan Nakaso

LAST UPDATED: 9:11 a.m. HST, Oct 28, 2011

State prisoners and Department of Transportation landscaping crews are busy clearing homeless people and their belongings from 17 different areas along Nimitz Highway and the H-1 Freeway that will be seen by delegations attending next month's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

The week-long clean-up is expected to cost $100,000, said DOT spokesman Dan Meisenzahl.

"We anticipate someone's going to ask us to do it again as we get closer to APEC," Meisenzahl said.

The clean-up crews include 50 DOT landscaping employees and 25 prisoners, Meisenzahl said.

They are primarily focusing on clearing homeless people and their belongings around bridges along the APEC travel routes, Meisenzahl said.

In August, the DOT spent $200,000 just to clear homeless people and their belongings from the H-1 Freeway viaduct near Honolulu Airport.

This week's anticipated $100,000 cost for the viaduct and 16 other locations is much cheaper "because most of them and their stuff is already gone," Meisenzahl said. 

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