Waialae Ave. water main break was latest headache for residents, businesses

St. Patrick School closed for second day in a row

Waialae Avenue

Board of Water Supply crews have completed repairs to a 12-inch water main on Waialae Avenue in Kaimuki.

The incident was reported early Tuesday morning on Waialae Avenue near 7th Avenue. Crews spent the rest of the day working on repairs.

Work was completed and water service restored to all affected customers at approximately 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Initially, the break affected 14 customers.

Crews are now in the process of repairing and restoring the roadway. All eastbound lanes of Waialae Avenue between 6th and 8th Avenues remain closed until repairs are done.

Motorists are advised to exercise caution when driving near the work area and to use alternate routes where possible.

After the road is fixed, Hawaiian Telcom will work on repairs to a manhole and cables, which sustained damages from the main break.

The company said the damage triggered outages in telephone and Internet service, affecting roughly 65 businesses and residents.

St. Patrick School is closed for second day in a row because of the break.

Waialae Avenue was repaved in July, an $11 million project that took nearly two years. Since then, it’s been dug up multiple times.

In January, work crews had to dig up the road near Saint Louis Drive to repair a gas line. Near 9th Avenue, just a couple of blocks from the water main break, crews are also digging up a portion of the road to install pipes needed for a new building under construction.

For businesses along the busy street, it all adds up to a traffic mess and fewer parking spaces that lead to fewer customers.

“We get a lot of the morning people that are going to work,” said Zippy’s manager Everett Kim. “They stop on their way to work, but I guess today, this was a big inconvenience to the community.”

KHON2 spoke with one business owner who has had enough and plans to shut down.

“I’m on my way out now,” said Ron Irwin, owner of Indige Designs. “I’m going to liquidate, go into wholesale and quit collecting taxes for the state and not have this headache, because it’s depressing to come to work and stand around all day and nobody’s going to come.”

It’s the last straw for Irwin who said he’s had to endure road repairs in front of his clothing store all too often. He thought better days were ahead after the road was repaved and wants to know if the pipes were inspected before the work.

“All that money and all that time to resurface, two years at least, and it was beautiful, and within six months, they were tearing it all up. I don’t know why they don’t coordinate offices at all, like water and gas and the city. Don’t they talk to each other?”

A spokeswoman for the Board of Water Supply told KHON2 that the pipes were inspected before Waialae Avenue was repaved. But how thorough was that inspection?

She emailed a statement late in the afternoon, saying the pipe that broke was installed in 1997, but did not respond to our question about the inspection.

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