By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
WAIPAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It looks like construction. It sounds like construction. It even diverts traffic like many construction jobs. But the work along Farrington Highway in Waipahu is part of the design phase for Honolulu's rail transit project, not the construction phase.
Kiewit Pacific Company, which has a contract from the city to build the first 6.5 mile phase of the elevated guideway from Kapolei to Pearl City, is using a large rig to drill eight-foot wide holes along Farrington Highway. The holes will help Kiewit design columns that will support the guideway.
"They are going to put a steel cage in the ground after they drill this hole. They are going to pour concrete all the way down, maybe 100 / 150 feet deep. And they are doing to take that column out to test to see how it holds up. Basically it is kind of a test column to determine how the real column is actually going to hold up when they build it," said Scott Ishikawa, spokesperson for the rail project.
Ishikawa said it will still be another month or so before actual construction begins on the rail project, but no firm date has been announced.
The first construction task will be to relocate above and below ground utility lines. Ishikawa said the city hopes to move enough utilities so Kiewit can begin building the guideway by the end of the year.