160-ton machine to begin drilling underground tunnel in Windward - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

160-ton machine to begin drilling underground tunnel in Windward Oahu

KANEOHE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A 160-ton tunnel boring machine from the City and County of Honolulu is about set to start digging through Windward Oahu grounds, drilling a new 3-mile tunnel from Kailua to Kaneohe.

The new tunnel – 13 feet in diameter -- will run under Oneawa Hills, conveying wastewater by gravity flow from the Kaneohe Wastewater Pre-Treatment Facility to the Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“This is the longest gravity flow tunnel ever built in the history of Hawaii,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a statement. “It will allow us not only to save on electricity, which would otherwise have to be used in more traditional force main sewer projects, but also provides greater capacity to store sewage and excess storm water that is able to infiltrate into the system during major storm events.”

The tunnel will be approximately 35 feet underground at the Kaneohe facility and 60 feet at the Kailua facility.

Construction will not be noticeable, the city said, and boring activity will not affect traffic since it will be deep underground. Blasting is also not anticipated.

For more information, go to kktunnel.org.

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