Ala Wai Noise Greets Students Back to Class - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ala Wai Noise Greets Students Back to Class

Pile driver work happening along the Ala Wai Canal in Waikiki. Pile driver work happening along the Ala Wai Canal in Waikiki.
An aerial view of the work being done to bury a sewage bypass line. An aerial view of the work being done to bury a sewage bypass line.
Ala Wai Elementary School Ala Wai Elementary School
Charlotte Unni, principal of Ala Wai Elementary Charlotte Unni, principal of Ala Wai Elementary

by Kristine Uyeno

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - School children attending their first day of classes at a Waikiki elementary school got quite a jolt Thursday morning.

Ala Wai Elementary students were greeted by the sound of sheet pile driving, which is being done to put in a new sewer line in the Ala Wai Canal. The work is right next to the school.

"As citizens of Hawaii we fully support it, we know what happened March of last year," said Charlotte Unni, principal of Ala Wai Elementary.

Unni is talking about the big sewage spill into the Ala Wai. The city is now working to fix that problem and to prevent another one. But it's creating headaches and earaches for those nearby.

"Yes, it has slowed down what's happening in the classrooms. Kids are working hard to ignore it," said Joven Asuncion, teacher.

Students who are in classrooms located next to the project and next to that noise are temporarily being moved to the library. It's a quieter setting.

Teachers and parents say they aren't thrilled with the noise but they understand it's the work that has to be done.

"We don't want 50-million gallons of raw sewage in the canal," said Unni.

Crews had hoped to complete this part of the project before school started.

But they had to deal with a couple of setbacks and an earlier-than-ever first day of school.

They say the pile driving should stop next week, hopefully by Tuesday.

Until then, students are learning an important lesson in patience.

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