Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Tuesday, June 18, 2024 75° Today's Paper

Kokua Line: Why couldn’t I get a picnic permit?

Question: Neal S. Blaisdell Park overlooking Pearl Harbor is a heavily used park popular with families who get permits to meet up there for large picnics and get-togethers with extended family and friends. In February we wanted to get a permit for early March, but we couldn’t get one, supposedly because there would be no parking due to repaving, which we don’t see happening. What’s going on?

Answer: The repaving work has been pushed back to April, and park staff have resumed issuing event permits for March, which they had earlier denied because they thought the parking lot would be closed by then, said Nate Serota, a spokesperson for the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation. You presumably sought your permit during the gap.

Now the repaving work is scheduled to begin April 3 and “will require the closure of the parking lot for the entire month of April,” he said, during which time large events will not be permitted.

“Because there isn’t much viable parking within close proximity to the park, outside of the park’s lot, we aren’t permitting any large activities while the parking lot is closed. However, the park itself will remain open to the public on a first-come-first-served basis. Park users are asked to please avoid the parking lot during its closure. Interfering with the renovation project will make the work and the lot’s closure last longer,” Serota said in an email.

This park’s lot will be closed longer than the one week typical for repaving projects of similar size “because the project includes working with the subterranean traffic light sensors,” Serota said.

The city’s Division of Urban Forestry will be trimming trees in Neal S. Blaisdell Park this month, he said, which also might affect some access at the park, located at 98-319 Kamehameha Highway.

Q: Is the repaving of Likelike Highway considered finished? I ask because there are a lot of divots and dips Kaneohe-­bound that need to be fixed.

A: No, the work is not finished in either direction, according to an update issued Thursday by the state Department of Transportation.

The contractor is focusing on Honolulu-bound lanes first, installing the “final lift” of asphalt between the Wilson Tunnels and Emmeline Place, the DOT said. That work is expected to be finished by the end of this month, it said.

Then the contractor will return to Kaneohe-bound lanes to “repair cracking and sinking” before installing the top layer of pavement, the DOT said. Kaneohe-bound paving is estimated to wrap up in May, it said.

“All roadwork is weather dependent. The extension of the Likelike Highway resurfacing between Wilson Tunnels and Emmeline Place is primarily due to weather conditions and the addition of shoulder work. This shoulder work was addressed prior to the completion of the final lift to provide longer lasting pavement overall,” it said.

Honolulu-bound lanes of Likelike Highway are closed from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. for this work, with traffic detoured through H-3 during those hours, according to the DOT.


Too often, I’ve seen drivers getting onto the freeway without yielding and/or stopping for cars that are on the freeway. Drivers know that they must yield to the vehicle that has the right of way. Turning on your blinkers does not give you the priority over that car. — David O.


On March 6 two angels — young ladies named Melissa and Jackie — entered my life when I fell to the floor at the Ala Moana Longs due to dehydration. They picked me up and brought me outside to sit on a low wall and stayed with me until my husband arrived. Mahalo to Melissa and Jackie. And a reminder to myself and everyone: Stay hydrated! — Grateful senior

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, HI 96813; call 808-529-4773; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

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