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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                               Friday, May 24, 2013

KANEOHE-KAILUA SEWER TUNNEL COMMUNITY MEETINGS DRAW RESIDENTS

City’s Update Includes Route Change

 Honolulu—Following community meetings last month, the Kaneohe-Kailua Gravity Sewer Tunnel project will move forward with ongoing public outreach and the selection of the tunnel contractor. Tunnel construction could start as early as October.

 Project engineers and design experts met with area residents over two nights and presented general information about the City & County of Honolulu project. A change in the path of the underground tunnel was also reviewed at the meeting.

 The sewer tunnel will fulfill a Global Consent Decree provision, mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Health to implement remediation projects on Oahu over the next 25-28 years, focusing on the wastewater collection system and wastewater treatment plants. The gravity sewer tunnel will be approximately 3-miles running mostly under Oneawa Hills from Kaneohe Wastewater Pre-Treatment Facility (WWPTF) to Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). The tunnel will be approximately 35 feet below ground at the Kaneohe WWPTF and 62 feet at the Kailua WWTP. The majority of the tunnel is 200 to 300 feet below ground level.

 Design experts from Wilson Okamoto Corporation (prime consultant), Jacobs Associates (tunnel engineer), Yogi Kwong Engineers (geotechnical engineer) and the City presented project information and fielded questions. More than 140 residents attended the Kaneohe and Kailua meetings on April 29 and 30.

 Over the last year, the City re-routed the middle portion of the alignment to be further from residences. The tunnel now runs behind the Board of Water Supply (BWS) Reservoir near Mokapu Saddle Road.

 A comprehensive monitoring program to record ground movement, noise, and vibration, if any, will be implemented before, during, and after construction. Construction is expected to be virtually unnoticeable using a tunnel boring machine deep underground. Above-ground construction will be limited to existing City wastewater facilities at Kaneohe and Kailua and the BWS Reservoir site. Sound reduction equipment, construction walls, and a traffic management plan will be used to minimize construction impacts.  The traffic management plan is intended to minimize vehicle queuing on public roadways.

 Information about the project can be found at: www.kkgravitytunnel.org.

 The Kaneohe-Kailua Gravity Sewer Tunnel Project is an approximate 3-mile tunnel from Kaneohe Wastewater Pre-Treatment Facility (WWPTF) to Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) that will be constructed by a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). The TBM will drill a tunnel up to 15 feet in diameter. A 10-foot interior diameter pipe will be installed into the bored tunnel. Since the tunnel will convey wastewater by gravity flow, it slopes down toward the Kailua Regional WWTP, starting at a depth of approximately 35 feet below ground level at the Kaneohe WWPTF, and ending approximately 62 feet below ground level at the Kailua Regional WWTP. For more information, visit: www.kkgravitytunnel.org.

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Media Contact: Dawn Hunt, Hastings & Pleadwell, (808) 538-0797 x3, dlh@hastingsandpleadwell.com

Johnny Brannon, (808) 768-5767, jbrannon@honolulu.gov