By Paul Drewes
NIU VALLEY (KHNL) -- Busy Kalanianaole Highway looks a little different, now that it is no longer lined with an ugly 18-inch emergency sewage bypass system.
"The eyesore has been removed," says Honolulu Mayor, Mufi Hannemann.
The bypass line went in, after a sewage spill in February of 2005.
It allowed crews to upgrade the sewer system and pumping station.
But this project came at a cost, and not just the cost of inconveniencing East Oahu residents.
"It cost $14 million to do this project but I believe every penny was well worth it," says Hannemann.
The project is just one of two very visible efforts by the city to upgrade the aging sewer system.
Some above ground bypass line , installed in Waikiki after a massive sewage spill, were already removed last month.
But residents haven't seen the last of the backup sewer pipes. Already plans are in the works for above ground bypass lines in Kalihi, Nuuanu and several other oahu communities.
And hundreds of millions of dollars have already been earmarked for sewer improvements over the next three years. Improvements paid for, in part, from higher sewer fees.
"Our task is this fix the problems of the past, and we now put in a system that we can maintain. One that is done by the experts, so people of Honolulu know that we have a good quality of life," states the Mayor of Honolulu.