News

HELCO to Energize Long-Dormant Hilo Street Lights

By Max Dible
June 5, 2021, 3:15 PM HST
* Updated June 5, 2:27 PM
Listen to this Article
1 minute
Loading Audio...
A
A
A

Multiple stretches of road on the Big Island are darker than they have to be, which has some community members concerned about pedestrian safety come nightfall.

The areas in question are along Kino´ole Street in Hilo, between Haihai Street and Kawailani Street. The Hawai´i County Department of Public Works (DPW) said there are a total of 20 street lights along the approximately 3,700-foot run of road, seven of which were added to existing Hawaiian Electric (HELCO) poles. Those seven have yet to be fed power.

DPW explained that there is a distinction between street lights that are “out” and those that have yet to be turned on. In this case, the latter applies.

“The lights are being maintained by (the county), but HELCO is the only entity authorized to energize new street lights,” DPW spokesperson Sherise Kanae-Kane wrote in an email to Big Island Now (BIN). “Conditions are no different now than prior to the addition of the new, yet-to-be-energized street lights.”

She added that the department requested HELCO energize three of the seven lights, located between Kawailani Street and Palai Street, on Aug. 5, 2020. The request to energize the other four street lamps, located between Haihai Street and Palai Street, was made on Jan. 14, 2021.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

“No money is required,” Kanae-Kane said. “HELCO has a backlog of work and we are waiting for them. “

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW AD

Kristen Okinaka, a spokesperson for HELCO, told BIN Friday that the lights will be energized in short order. She added that there are no other large groupings of street lights on the Big Island installed but waiting to be turned on.

“The lights will be energized next week,” Okinaka wrote in an email. “This is an isolated incident.”

Anyone with concerns about non-working or damaged street lights may contact the DPW Traffic Division at 808-961-8591 or by email at [email protected].

Max Dible
Max Dible is the News Director for both Big Island Now and Kauai Now. He also serves as News Director for Pacific Media Group's Hawai‘i Island family of radio stations.
Read Full Bio

Comments

This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments (4)

Newsletters

Get a quick summary of what’s happening on the Big Island with our daily & weekly email of news highlights.