City Crews Start Installation of Permanent Sewer Pipe

NIU VALLEY (KHNL)- It's the beginning of the end for a massive eyesore for those who live in east Honolulu. City crews are installing the permanent sewer main in the Niu Valley area, replacing the temporary one that's been in the middle of Kalanianaole Highway for almost two years.

"I'm so glad to see that because we've been hoping that that pipe wouldn't stay there too much longer," said Aina Haina resident Astrid Jackson.

"Back in February 2005, this line broke three times," said Craig Nishimura, deputy director of the city's Design and Construction Department. "We found that it was severely corroded, so we needed to replace it as soon as possible."

Crews are stationed at Kawaikui Beach Park. The 16-inch sewer pipe is in 200-foot sections. They're fused together, then fed under the highway. Because all the work is underground, there are no lane closures.

"We're not impacting traffic at all," said Nishimura.

"I'm quite impressed that it has to go as far as it has to go without interrupting traffic," said Jackson.

However, the pipe installation must be done around the clock, so there will be some noise for neighbors overnight.

Crews have put up barriers to try and block some of the noise.

'So far it's pretty good," said Sue Horfsfall, who lives next to the Niu Valley Wastewater Pump Station. "They put the barrier and I think it doesn't bother a lot like before."

"I would imagine if it doesn't go on too long that people will be glad that it's happening," said Jackson.

About 3,300 feet of pipe must be installed.

Work is expected to last three days, but officials say if all goes well, crews could be done on Wednesday.

The new sewer pipe must still be connected, then tested. So it'll still be a few more months before the temporary pipe is removed.