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Kakaako crash memorial to be moved to replace light pole

State transportation officials said the memorial for the victims of the deadly Kakaako crash earlier this week will be moved in order to replace the light pole on Saturday.

The memorial on a pedestrian island at Kamakee Street and Ala Moana Boulevard will be moved to the grassy area on the northeast corner, officials said, which is safe for the public, and does not obstruct sidewalks or access points.

“Our hearts go out to everyone involved in this tragic incident,” said Hawaii Department of Transportation director Jade Butay in a news release. “We understand the community needs to mourn the loss and we want to be respectful of those wishes, while also making the necessary repairs in the area. We ask people to refrain from leaving alcohol containers at the memorial as it is counterproductive to the message of driving sober.”

On Saturday, the state will be installing a new light pole at the intersection, which will require the closure of the northbound lane of Kamakee Street, including the free, right-turn lane from Ala Moana, starting at 7 a.m. The repair work is anticipated to be completed by noon, weather permitting.

The original pole was destroyed in the tragic incident that killed three pedestrians and injured five others.

Upon completion of the repairs, state officials are asking that memorial items not be left on the pedestrian island because they can block access and pathways, which is a safety concern. The items may be placed in the new memorial location at the intersection’s northeast (mauka/Diamond Head) corner of the intersection for the next two weeks.

So far this year, there have already been 13 traffic fatalities statewide, with six being pedestrians.

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