Traffic alert: Kalanianaole Highway sewage project in East Oahu

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

WAILUPE (HawaiiNewsNow) - Construction kicked off Wednesday night, on a major sewer project on Oahu's East side.

It's on Kalanianaole Highway, near Aina Haina, between Wailupe and Kawaikui Beach Parks.

One lane going in the Koko Head direction will be closed for the next six months, except during the evening rush hour, from 2:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

On Wednesday night, it was still open. There was no heavy duty work on day one of the project. But once things pick up, residents will see more than $9 million dollars worth of sewage work.

"When they were doing the Hawaii Kai widening some years back in the 90's, {my} car fell in, the whole half of my car. I'm glad I didn't kill anybody," said Gail Kashiwa, a Wailupe resident.

Kashiwa says an unmarked trench in her driveway is what led to her accident nearly two decades ago. Now she faces a new sewage project right in front of her home. Yet she says she doesn't mind.

"Anytime the city wants to do something for me I'm grateful so I've tried to cooperate," she said.

Workers have installed a bypass system. It takes the wastewater load off from the existing line so crews can work on it.

"The bypass runs through these pipes and basically were running these pumps to keep everything flowing," said Dane Bergman, a construction worker.

Honolulu's Environmental Services Department says crews will strengthen 7400 feet of pipe, fix 19 manholes, and clean more than 11,000 feet of piping.

"It's fairly critical. We all remember what happened when the sewer line broke in Waikiki," said Bergman.

In 2006, 48 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into the Ala Wai.

This project along Kalanianaole Highway is the lesson learned. It's one of 17 major sewer projects launched this month, as part of the city's $605 million plan to upgrade Oahu's sewer system.

"They're fixing it for another 30 years, 50 years, that's wonderful," said Kashiwa.

The city says construction will not involve any trench work.

Work will be done between 7:00 p.m. thru 2:00 p.m. the next day. The project should be done by April of next year.

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