Sewer work causes slowdowns for Oahu drivers

By Lisa Kubota - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Oahu drivers can expect delays along a busy roadway. Crews will be rehabilitating two major sewer pipes along Ala Moana Boulevard. The work involves around-the-clock lane closures.

"It's obviously going to be very congested and there's going to be alternate routes so we ask the patience of the drivers," said Collins Lam, director of the Department of Design and construction.

The city's sewer work extends for seven blocks along Ala Moana Boulevard between Keawe Street and Ward Avenue. The makai Diamond Head-bound lane will be closed 24 hours a day through July 24 while crews improve a 69-inch sewer pipe.

"The method that we're going to use to rehab this line is CIPP -- cured-in-place pipe. It's a trenchless method, and basically we're trying to disrupt the least amount of traffic," explained Lam.

Acura of Honolulu had to move its main entrance due to all the equipment. Some intersections along Ilalo Street are also closed.

"We've been talking to dealerships how we could actually keep access to their property. It's very difficult, but it's something that we've been working with the businesses in trying to get better access," said Lam.

Lam said the rehabilitation will allow the pipe to be used for several more decades.

"CIPP is definitely a better alternative at this point in time because you're talking about a 69-inch line and it's very disruptive if we had to go and dig it out and put a new pipe in," Lam said.

The other lane closure will be around Ward Avenue. The left lane of Ala Moana Boulevard headed east near that intersection will be blocked off from July 20 to 22. Lam said the $8.5 million project is an effective way to improve the sewer system.

"Instead of having to cut into the road, what we're doing is basically lining the inside of the pipe with a different pipe," said Lam.

There is a detour to avoid the first closure by using Ilalo Street, but drivers are still being urged to use alternate routes like Kapiolani Boulevard.

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