The 5,000 foot long wastewater pipe aimed at preventing future sewage diversions was sunk this past week Monday, July 17, in the Ala Wai Canal.
Workers used pumps to fill the 48-inch outside diameter pipe with 400,000 gallons of Ala Wai water. It took over eight hours to sink it to the bottom of the canal.
City officials held a press conference near the Ala Moana Boulevard Bridge, the end of the sewer line for a pipe that became a familiar and much discussed sight over the past month.
The High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pipe snaked up the canal starting June 13 from a staging area in a city park located behind Ala Wai Elementary and Iolani School. It grew 250 feet a day as workers welded 50-foot pieces together and used a crane to drag it in the water.
Most of the bypass pipe is now out of sight, but its role remains critical.
“This is a key part of completing the first phase of the Beachwalk Wastewater Emergency Bypass project,” Eldon Franklin, chief of the Wastewater Division in the City’s Department of Design and Construction, told reporters. “The next step is to hook this pipe up to existing lines in Waikiki and near Ala Moana Beach Park. Once that happens, we will have a way to divert wastewater and avoid what happened last year.”
Last March, following weeks of intense rainfall, the 42-year-old existing force main ruptured on Kaiolu Street. The City repaired the line, but not before being forced to divert 48 million gallons of wastewater into the Ala Wai Canal.
Once hooked up, this emergency line is designed to prevent a repeat of that unfortunate scenario.
City officials are also focused on replacing the 42-year-old force main that broke last March on Kaiolu Street in Waikiki. That will involve micro tunneling and placing new sewer lines under Ala Wai Canal and Kaiolu Street, a process the city hopes to finish by December 2006.
Workers are digging a huge pit on the mauka side of the canal behind the Ala Wai Community Gardens. This will allow them to move heavy machinery into the pit that will tunnel like a mole under the canal and Kaiolu Street to the Beachwalk Wastewater Pump Station located at the corner of Kaiolu and Kuhio Avenue. A similar pit will be built in the now closed parking lot of the Beachwalk Wastewater Pump Station.
Work also continued at Ala Moana Beach Park, where contractors dug a trench across the park’s Diamond Head entrance to bury the sewer pipe and hook it up to an existing sewer manhole near the Moana Pump Station. The wastewater will flow by from the 69-inch gravity sewer exiting the manhole to the Ala Moana Pump Station on Keawe Street. From there it will head to the Sand Island Wastewter Treatment Plant.
Check this site http://www.beachwalkbypass.com) for weekly updates. Also a reminder that the project hotline continues to be manned Monday thru Friday from 8am to 5pm. That number is 808-203-5777.