- Associated Press - Thursday, November 3, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - The state has begun warning homeless people living underneath a highway viaduct in Honolulu that they must leave the area to make way for a new construction project.

Notices were posted Tuesday telling homeless residents they must vacate the premises.

Starting Friday, the area below the Nimitz Highway will become a construction zone as crews work to build a fence between the viaduct and an adjacent bike path, Hawaii News Now reported (https://bit.ly/2e43P79).

The homeless residents are being asked to leave “for everyone’s safety,” said Tim Sakahara, spokesman for the Department of Transportation.

The Institute of Human Services has been working to provide housing options for those displaced by the project.

“We just want to let people to know we’re bringing shuttles down for the next couple days. Trying to help people get into shelters,” said Justin Phillips, a representative of the institute.

Sakahara said the department has received several complaints about stray dogs under the viaduct and that the fence will help protect bicyclists and pedestrians.

Melissa Lima has been living under the viaduct for the last two years and is unsure of where she’ll go while the construction gets underway.

“We don’t know what to do. We’re trying to get a storage right now. Just to put everything in storage,” Lima said.

The DOT is warning residents that heavy equipment could block the Mapunapuna bike path during the construction.

Work on the new fence is expected to finish up Nov. 19.


Information from: KGMB-TV, https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/

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