Major repairs to fix Ala Moana sinkhole could lead to more traffic troubles

Work to fix a sinkhole at Ala Moana Beach Park will be more difficult than expected.

That could mean longer headaches for beachgoers.

The city says leaking pipes underneath the pavement caused sediment to loosen creating the hole at the ewa entrance of the park.

That entrance will remain closed while crews fix it but right now, the city does not know how long that’ll take.

For the last two nights, the closure has created problems for beachgoers.

Drivers trying to leave Ala Moana Beach Park had another night of traffic.

With the city still working on the sink hole there’s still just one way in and one way out.

Plenty of drivers were surprised again Wednesday night when Ala Moana beach park turned into Ala Moana beach parking lot.

Like Steve Kolinski, who came to the park to play tennis, “I’ve been waiting at least a half an hour, didn’t expect this coming in at all.”

Although drivers weren’t stuck in traffic for hours like on Tuesday night, drivers like Kolinski were still caught off guard by long lines in one direction from before sundown to around 8:30 p.m. “We didn’t realize the other exit or entrance was closed off and it’s just been a long wait. We’re trying to get another court I don’t know if we’re going to make it.”

Michele Nekota, City Department of Parks and Recreation Director, admits the city was caught off guard, “We ddin’t realize traffic would be backed up that much, so now we know how popular the Ala Moana park is even in the weekdays”

According to the city, the traffic light at Atkinson and Ala Moana was bumped up from 20 to 60 seconds to get drivers out faster. The city also said police would be helping direct traffic after sunset, but none came. Nekota says crews are working to get the sinkhole repaired as fast as possible. “As soon as we found out within the last 24 hours we’ve expedited this process because we realized how important this park is for the users, the public, residents as well as the visitors.”

For now at Ala Moana beach park there’s only one way in and out. KHON2 wanted to know if the city has a timeline for when the repairs will be finished. Nekota says it could be a few days, “At this time we don’t, but we hope to have that in the next few days.”

 

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