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            The final stretch of the emergency bypass system along the Ala Wai Boulevard will be dismantled this week, opening up more on-street parking in Waikiki and fully restoring the boulevard’s bike lane, Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced today.


            At a news conference in Waikiki, the mayor said, “We’ve accomplished our goal of fixing this aging but vitally important part of our wastewater system and providing a continuous emergency backup, so that what happened in March 2006 will not be repeated.


            “We want to thank the residents of Waikiki and all the motorists, bikers, pedestrians, and visitors who used Ala Wai Boulevard for their understanding and patience.  I know this is a relief to everyone that this final stretch of big sewer pipes will be gone.”


            The pipes have been a visible reminder of the March 2006 sewage spill that triggered the $45-million Beachwalk Wastewater Emergency Bypass (BWEB) project.  After 40 days of rain, a force main broke, and the City was forced to divert 48 million gallons of wastewater into the Ala Wai Canal.


            Hannemann said, “During my campaign for mayor in 2004, I told some that my biggest fear was a sewer break in Waikiki.  Sadly, that happened during that rainstorm.  We rolled up our sleeves and did the emergency work.  It wasn’t pretty, but it had to be done.  And we will continue doing what is necessary to fix our wastewater infrastructure.”


            The BWEB project was built in two phases.  Phase one was completed in July 2006, and included construction of the emergency system of pipes and pumps that gave the City the capability to bypass the aging force main. 


            As part of phase two, the City built two vaults and two new lines that run 1,100 feet under Kaiolu Street and the Ala Wai Canal.  Those lines are now connected to the Beachwalk Pump Station and are moving wastewater out of Waikiki.


            The City has also finished rehabilitating the 42-inch line that broke in March 2006 and can use that as a backup for the two new lines.  In addition, bypass pumps have been installed alongside the Beachwalk Pump Station that can be activated in the event of another emergency.


            The pipes and pumps along the Ala Wai Boulevard drew the most complaints, as parking spaces were lost, bikers had to negotiate an interrupted bike path, the canal-side sidewalk was blocked and residents complained of visual blight.


            In October, 2007, workers cut up and removed 900 feet of pipe between Walina Street and Seaside Avenue.  The 750-foot portion between Seaside Avenue and Lewers Street remained as part of an emergency backup.  It will be dismantled starting Tuesday, May 13.  Crews expect to have all the barriers removed by the end of the week and the parking spaces restored by May 20.


            The pipe placed on the canal floor and the above-ground piping on the mauka side of the canal and at the entrance to Ala Moana Beach Park are also temporary, but will remain for now.


            The City and its consultants are designing what will be a permanent underground line connecting the two new microtunneled lines under the canal and Kaiolu Street to the pump station at Ala Moana Beach Park.  That line will add to the work that is being done on the BWEB project and allow the remaining temporary lines to be removed.



Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Monday, May 12, 2008

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