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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Waikiki sewer bypass 20% done

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer

The bypass sewer will be sunk in the Ala Wai Canal. It will carry the load while a permanent sewer is being built under Kai'olu Street.

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A week into a project to create an emergency bypass sewage pipeline in Waikiki, the work is about 20 percent complete.

The temporary pipeline on the Ala Wai Canal was about 1,000 feet long yesterday.

Eric Takamura, director of the city's Department of Environmental Services, said he is pleased with the progress of the project, which will provide an emergency bypass when work begins on a permanent pipeline under Kai'olu Street, where an aging line broke on March 24 resulting in the discharge of 48 million gallons of sewage into the Ala Wai Canal and forced the closure of beaches in and around Waikiki.

"It's right on schedule right now, and we anticipate to finish the temporary pipeline at the end of July," Takamura said.

The work is a prelude to construction of a permanent line under Kai'olu Street.

Takamura said among the permanent solutions being discussed is a new pipeline under Kai'olu Street being extended into the canal and along the Ala Wai's mauka bank.

According to information posted on the Beachwalk wastewater emergency bypass Web site, workers are using a city softball park as a staging area, where they are welding together pieces of 42-inch, high-density polyethylene pipe. The welding process takes about two hours per 50-foot length of pipe, and workers must wait more than an hour for the pipe to cool before moving it.

A crane hoists the 50-foot pipe into the canal. The finished pipeline will be a mile long. When completed, it will be sunk into the canal.

Workers are able to complete about five pieces a day, a spokesman for the project said.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann and administration officials presented the project to the Waikiki Neighborhood on June 13.

"It seems to be doing well because I can see the pipe getting longer and longer," Waikiki board chairman Robert Finley said. "The project could have taken two years to start, so I think we're all pleased."

City officials will brief members of the Waikiki Improvement Association on July 11.

Reach Rod Ohira at rohira@honoluluadvertiser.com.