BWS project putting damper on some Ward businesses

Board of Water Supply Road Project - Ward Avenue

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These days, it seems drivers can’t go anywhere without running into a road project.

A major Board of Water Supply project is putting a damper on some businesses in Kakaako.

Companies are complaining they’re seeing fewer customers, thanks to the traffic the project is creating.

Ward Avenue has been buzzing with work, noise, and lane closures.

But it’s a different story inside some of the stores nearby.

At Blue Planet Surf and next door at the Indich Collection, not a single customer was inside.

“And on average we only have maybe one customer or two customers a day and they’re generally walk-in customers,” Indich Collection Manager Darrick Hamamoto said.

Hamamoto says in the last week, they’ve only made one sale.

“Pretty frustrated,” Hamamoto said.

According to the Board of Water Supply website, the project involves replacing 2,400 feet of pipeline. It’s expected to reduce water main breaks and enhance water service.

The work started nine months ago.

“I mean, because construction has been going on for such a long time, we’re down from last year at least 15 percent,” Hamamoto said.

Businesses say the worst part is that work is being done on the weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and on some days, there are multiple lane closures.

But the Board of Water supply says there will always be at least one open in each direction.

Some say that does not help.

“For the most part I feel like if people are driving by, they’ll just keep going because of the construction and nuisance and such,” Blue Planet Surf Manager Adam Weitzel said.

While some businesses are trying to be patient with the project, others are being aggressive with marketing and sales, but those tactics don’t always help.

“That’s why I’m wondering when this is going to end. Yeah, it’s pretty tough right now,” Hamamoto said.

Crews are replacing 2,400 feet of pipeline and were supposed to finish two months ago. But during the construction process, the contractor found abandoned utility lines in the pathway of the project, causing a delay.

At this time, there is no word as to when the work will be completed.

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