Vandals strike again; more traffic cameras in the dark

By Ryan Kalei Tsuji
Published On: Nov 07 2013 07:46:16 AM HST
Updated On: Nov 07 2013 10:06:35 AM HST

Dozens of traffic cameras throughout Oahu remain offline after copper wire was stolen near middle street. KITV4' s Ryan Kalei Tsuji has a look at how the Department of Transportation and the City are dealing with the issue.

HONOLULU -

Dozens of traffic cameras throughout Oahu remain offline Thursday after city officials believe thieves were looking for copper wire near Middle Street in Kalihi.

City officials say they're frustrated after vandals caused a lot of damage looking for copper, but only found fiber optic cables.

Click here to watch Ryan Kalei Tsuji's live report.

The thieves severed fiber optic cables in two locations near Middle street. That caused 24 of the city's traffic cameras to go offline.

The cameras out of service are as follows: all 18 in Kaneohe; all four on Fort Weaver Road; and those on the airport viaduct east and westbound.

"The cameras will be offline anywhere from 15 to 30 days, which means we can't see the traffic conditions at those 24 locations and we can't manipulate the signals remotely from our Traffic Management center," said Mike Formby, the city's director of Transportation Services.

City transportation officials say manipulating the signals allows them to control the flow of traffic, keeping green traffic lights on longer.

And even more traffic cameras were discovered to be offline Thursday morning.  The city's Traffic Management Center suspects there was more vandalism overnight.  The newly-affected cameras affect traffic on Kamehameha Highway from Waipahu to Aiea.

They say it's the first time in several years that fiber optic cables have been cut and vandalized.

The repairs will come at the taxpayers' expense, which is estimated to be $10,000. Anyone who knows anything about the vandalism is asked to call police.

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