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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Thursday, October 21, 2004

Burst main limits access to Hale'iwa

By Will Hoover
Advertiser North Shore Writer

HALE'IWA — Both lanes of Kamehameha Highway leading into Hale'iwa from the Waimea side of the North Shore were closed yesterday as crews scrambled to repair a blown 16-inch water main near Ali'i Beach Park.

A mural of rushing water just outside Hale'iwa seemed an appropriate scene-setter yesterday for crews working to repair a broken water main that shut down part of Kamehameha Highway.

jeff Widener • The Honolulu Advertiser

Area residents were being asked to conserve water.

"The highway is pretty messed up," said Tracy Burgo, spokeswoman for the Board of Water Supply. "Nobody is without water, although they may experience low pressure until service is fully restored."

Westbound traffic trying to enter Hale'iwa was rerouted along the Joseph P. Leong Highway bypass to the entrance west of town, two miles away. Startled Hale'iwa motorists trying to leave the east end of town were forced to turn around at the road block next to the park.

"It's just an inconvenience right now," said Honolulu police officer Brian Bascar, stationed at the east bypass intersection to ward off the occasional stray vehicle trying to turn into Hale'iwa.

Anyone making it past Bascar yesterday would have encountered a 16- by 32-foot hole in the pavement that was 8 feet deep.

Water board repair crew supervisor Marc Nobriga said water running beneath the highway after the main broke at 2:44 a.m. yesterday had compromised the integrity of the pavement. Although the highway hadn't caved in, crews blocked off both lanes to dig down to the water main.

Crew foreman Kenneth Ahana said that after the main was fixed, workers would fill the hole and lay a temporary patch over it that would withstand traffic.

"You can't put a permanent patch now because the ground is wet, and it will sink as it dries," Ahana said.

Burgo said that barring the unexpected, crews expect to have finished the job by this morning.

Until the work is completed, the road will remain closed and residents will be asked to limit water use to drinking, cooking and sanitation.

Staff writer Mike Gordon contributed to this report. Reach Will Hoover at whoover@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8038.