Area residents, schools thrilled about Ala Wai sewer pipe removal

It’s been seven years, but within months the Ala Wai Canal will be without the emergency sewer pipe installed there after a massive spill in 2006.

Needless to say, area residents are thrilled with the thought of getting things back to normal.

“We can put in a dog park that has been put on hold since 2006. The bicycle path comes back online. We can actually use our park the way we always liked to,” Moiliili resident Ron Lockwood said.

It’s a real relief for a couple of neighboring schools. Iolani had to make some changes because of a loss of their softball field.

“For all those years now, we’ve been having to ship our softball program to the other part of Ala Wai Park, which is a pretty good walk for kids to get there on time, and have a reasonable practice and get back in time to shower up and go home,” Iolani Athletic Director Carl Schroers said.

They lost their field so the crews could have access to the Ala Wai to do the necessary work.

Another school greatly affected is Ala Wai Elementary. When crews pull up stakes, that school has more to worry about.

“There are some concerns that we are concerned about just access that will open up a little bit more. So, we have to be more proactive with our campus, making sure that our campus will remain secure,” Ala Wai Elementary School Sean Wong said.

The pipe has been cleaned out and sealed for sometime.

The final leg of work is already underway and should take just weeks.

“When we cut that up, we are going to have it done by the end of August, and the remaining about 2,000 feet. They’ll float the remaining 2,000 feet and float that up from the McCully bridge down to the Ala Moana bridge . And then it’s done,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.

As for cost, the original fix to the broken sewer in Waikiki cost about $44 million. That’s the same cost for the bypass, which is about to be pulled from the water…

The total cost comes out to $88 million.

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