No Parking: Waikiki Sewage Project Underway

Ala Waif Blvd.
Ala Waif Blvd.

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - Keeping sewage out of our streams will cost parking spaces in a place that doesn't have any to spare: Waikiki.

A wastewater project is having a big impact on land, which had been used for parking. Leaving many in Waikiki worried they'll be left searching for a spot.

Most drivers know finding a parking space along Ala Wai Boulevard is not easy.

"It's pretty difficult," says one driver.

"It's frustrating," adds another.

"It's really bad, it's ridiculous, especially along the Ala Wai," says nearby resident Scott Melendy.

Not enough parking spaces means drivers spend a lot more time on the road.

"Sometimes you can drive around for half an hour or more until you find a spot," says Waikiki resident Val Vanga.

Now that the city has made room for emergency sewer line equipment, some nearby residents are upset because they will lose five blocks of parking along the Ala Wai Canal.

"Five blocks! That's gotta be a hundred cars, so those cars are going to be in the street now," says Melendy.  "And that's just less parking you won't be able to find."

Even more disheartening to some, is that they will lose these spaces for the next six months.

In their place will go huge sewage pumps, the size of cars, that will be used to divert wastewater after the new pipeline is completed in the Ala Wai Canal.

It will then take wastewater from Waikiki to the Sand Island treatment plant.

But the city says, this $20 million project should prevent another multi-million gallon spill.  And they say, it's expected to be finished by the end of the year.

But disappointed drivers are not looking forward to the months in between, as they wait for spaces to open up.

"It's gonna make it twice as hard to find parking," says Joe Simon, a Waikiki resident.

"You're going to be driving around for parking forever," adds JR Nelms, another resident of Waikiki.

More than just drivers will be impacted by the emergency sewage work.

Bicyclists will lose their lane along the five block stretch, and even people walking and jogging around the Ala Wai Canal will have to cross the street before getting to the pumps.