Broken Watermain Leaves Leeward Coast Residents in Traffic Gridlock

Melissa Lauer
Melissa Lauer
Al Deleconio
Al Deleconio

KO OLINA (KHNL) -- Just when traffic returned to normal on the Waianae coast after last week's storms, drivers were stuck in more gridlock Tuesday morning.

Not because of the weather, but due to yet another tough break.

It's probably one of the last sights Leeward Oahu commuters wanted to see on they're driving into town.

More utility trucks, and more coned off lanes.

This time thanks to a large 24-inch watermain break on Farrington Highway near the Ko Olina Resort.

"This is getting ridiculous and nobody seems to hear us or understand our plight here. We are the place for a landfill but not the place for another road," said Melissa Lauer, a Ko Olina resident .

Parts of the highway were initially shutdown.

By 10 o'clock however, Board of Water Supply officials were able to get the traffic flowing with the help of police, and contra-flow lanes.

But for those forced to travel this busy corridor on a daily basis, this big hole in the ground is just the latest in a long line of problems that leave them wondering what, if anything, can be done to improve the situation.

"This is ridiculous. This is the 4th water break this year where traffic has been messed up. Never mind what happened last week with the storm," said Waianae resident Al Deleconio .

"We need to have access into town or out of our area when these things occur. This has become too much of a habit and something needs to be done," Lauer said.

At 2:15 Tuesday afternoon, State Transportation officials reversed the contra lanes, leaving one lane open in the town bound direction, and two lanes heading toward Waianae.

Little consolation for people who find their precious time, much like the water.

Going down the drain.

"Once again we're the step child. No one takes any action, oh it's the Waianae coast, they'll be okay," said Deleconio.  "That's the feeing we all have out here."

Although no homes or business were left without water, the Board of Water Supply is also asking residents from Nanakuli to Waiana, to use water sparingly until the water main is repaired.