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(Wed., Sept. 1, 2010)—Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell today announced that work has begun on a tunneling project that will relocate a portion of an unsightly above-ground sewer pipe near the entrance to Waikiki near Ala Moana Beach Park. The above-ground piping on the mauka side of the Ala Wai Canal is also on track to be replaced with underground pipes, he said.


“Everyone is looking forward to having these ugly but vital wastewater pipes relocated underground, and the City is on track to make that a reality,” Caldwell said. “The use of advanced tunneling technology also means we will minimize construction noise and traffic disruptions during this phase of the project.  We are firmly committed to improving our wastewater system to protect our residents, our visitors, and our environment.”


The above-ground pipes are part of an emergency project that began after a major pipe, known as a force main, ruptured in March 2006. The incident followed forty straight days of heavy rain and triggered a massive sewage spill into the Ala Wai Canal. 


The Beachwalk Wastewater Emergency Bypass project was finished last year, and the city has been working on a new line that, when finished, will allow for the removal of all the above-ground piping and another emergency line on the floor of the Ala Wai Canal.


The new 5,800-foot line, called the Beachwalk Force Main, is projected to be finished in 2012. It will run underground from behind Ala Wai School to Ala Moana Beach Park.


Caldwell said contractors later this year will be able to remove a large section of the above-ground emergency pipe near the park.


“We know this is of particular relief to our visitor industry, as this area is the entrance to Waikiki,” Caldwell said. “The pipes served an important purpose in that they helped ensure there would be no repeat of the March 2006 spill.”


At 5,800 feet, the new project is the longest micro-tunnel line ever built in Hawaii. Contractors will build five jacking pits that will be used to load the 72-inch pipes through the microtunneling process, so there will be no need for open trenching.


Two of the pits are under construction on Ala Wai Boulevard, another will be built at Ala Moana Park and the final two will be constructed on the mauka side of the canal. 


Contractor Coluccio Construction is using a silent piler that pushes rather than pounds piles into the ground. This lessens the noise impact on area residents.  Coluccio will also be using a million dollar state-of-the art boring machine called the Rasa DH-1800. 


            “We fully understand the inconvenience this construction is causing and we are doing everything we can to minimize the impact,” Caldwell said.  “We ask for the public’s patience as we move forward on this vital project.  When we are finished, the city will have two reliable ways to remove wastewater from Waikiki—the new pipe and the rehabilitated older pipe—and the above-ground pipes and the one in canal will be gone.”




Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayor’s Office, 768-6928