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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   August 12, 2005

Release No. M-56

 

MAYOR ANNOUNCES CHINATOWN GATEWAY PROJECT

 

            Mayor Mufi Hannemann today announced that work will begin tomorrow (Saturday, August 13, 2005) on removing four banyan trees from the Chinatown Gateway Park as part of a repair and restoration project there.

 

The City Department of Design and Construction determined tree removal is necessary because of the potential safety threat they pose and the damage the trees are causing to other portions of the park.

 

 “The trees were planted on top of faux rocks when the park was developed several years ago as part of the Chinatown Gateway project,” the mayor said. “The banyan roots have cracked some of them. Debris from the trees has also contributed to problems with the waterfall pump. Frequent pump failures of that water feature have prompted citizen complaints and are a maintenance problem for the City. Moreover, the weight of the trees resting on these faux rocks gave our engineers cause for concern.”

 

The City Division of Urban Forestry has consulted with the Outdoor Circle on the removal of the trees, which will be done by Trees of Hawaii.  The other trees in the park will not be affected.

 

Another contractor, AquaScapes, has checked the waterfall and pond. Earlier this year, after yet another failure of the pump, there was talk of shutting down the waterfall and filling the pond with soil and landscaping. However, tests indicate the water feature can be retained. Restoration work will be done following the tree removal.

 

AquaScapes will also perform repairs on the faux rocks. The tree removal and restoration and repair work will cost less than $40,000. In addition, irrigation and landscaping work will be done. The City acquired the 17,000-square foot site at Bethel and Hotel streets, next to the Hawaii Theatre, in 1989.

 

 “This work addresses the flaws that forced us to close the park,” said the mayor. “We hope this results in a safe clean park that the public can enjoy and that the City can properly maintain.”

 

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Contact:

               Wayne Hashiro, Director, Department of Design and Construction, 523-4564

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

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