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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, September 27, 2001

Hawai'i Kai getting more water main roadwork

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Bureau

HAWAI'I KAI — Brace yourself, Hawai'i Kai: More water mains are going to be replaced.

That means more roads will be torn up, more lane closures and more orange cones.

The Board of Water Supply plans to replace about 6,500 linear feet of old cast-iron pipes in the water main under Hawai'i Kai Drive from Pohoiki Place to just past Pepe'ekeo Street.

Crews will then work on Kawaihae Street, May Way and Maunalua Avenue, and Makani'olu Place.

Construction is scheduled to start Nov. 26. The work will take about a year, said Randal Hiraki, Board of Water Supply civil engineer.

The water main replacement will disrupt service when the utility has to hook up the homes to the new lines, Hiraki said.

At the same time, much of Kalaniana'ole Highway is still being torn up as water crews replace aging pipes there.

Work on the thoroughfare to and from East Honolulu began in April and isn't expected to be completed until 2003, transportation officials have said.

Work on the first phase, from 'Ainakoa Avenue to Laukahi Street, was completed in June. Crews started this past summer replacing a 16-inch main from Laukahi to West Hind Drive.

Crews also are working on the on-ramp from Kahala. Bike lanes are being added from Keala'olu Avenue to Kalaniana'ole Highway. That work, which began in August, isn't expected to be completed until next year.

The water board gave a briefing Tuesday night to the Hawai'i Kai Neighborhood Board about the water main replacement.

The pipes will be replaced with new PVC materials that won't rust, Hiraki said.

"The soil here is very corrosive," Hiraki said. "Most of the main breaks now are occurring because of the corrosion from the salt water."

Most of the water pipes in use now are about 40 years old, some as much as 61, Hiraki said. Last month alone, there were seven breaks in the water main in Hawai'i Kai.

As part of the $1.1 million project, new fire hydrants will be installed on the kokohead side of Hawai'i Kai Drive. Curb ramps will be installed to comply with city requirements for more accessibility by disabled people.