Star-Advertiser 8/3/15: Highway Widening on Wai’anae Coast

Intersection of Nanakuli Ave. and Farrington Hwy.

Intersection of Nanakuli Ave. and Farrington Hwy.

Excerpts from Jayna Omaye’s “Highway widening aims to ease drive on Waianae Coast: The $10.1M project includes a left-turn lane and new traffic signals and street lighting” (Star-Advertiser: 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 3, 2015):

The $10.1 million project will widen the four-lane highway between Nanakuli and Haleakala avenues to include a 10-foot-wide auxiliary lane for vehicles turning left. [Sen. Shimabukuro obtained a significant portion of the funds for the current turn lane project at Haleakala Ave. and Nanakuli Ave. while she served in the House.]

Plans also include a new 8-foot-wide pedestrian and bicycle pathway, as well as the relocation of utilities and upgrades to traffic signals, street lighting and drainage systems.

Work is slated for completion in May.

State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro (D, Kalaeoa-Waianae-Makaha) has … pushed for the widening project, but said more needs to be done to continue mitigating traffic congestion.

“I think it would help a lot if you have lanes for the buses to pull over and people to turn,” Shimabukuro said.

A project to widen Farrington Highway from Hakimo Road to Kalaeloa Boulevard is included in the Oahu Regional Transportation Plan, a long-term vision that lists transportation projects that are eligible for federal funding, for 2021 to 2035.

For many years Waianae Coast residents … have advocated for a secondary route out of the area, as well as for more access to the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Route, a series of roads that reroutes traffic from Farrington Highway. The roads, which are locked and gated, are opened to the public only when an emergency is declared by city officials.

The emergency route was opened the weekend of July 25 due to a water main break and subsequent sewer line damage that closed a section of Farrington Highway.

City Councilwoman Kymberly Pine, who represents the district spanning Ewa Beach to Waianae, pointed out that it is not sustainable to have only one way in and out of the Waianae Coast. She added that traffic cameras on the Waianae Coast would help officials to respond faster to accidents and other traffic situations.

Read the full article on the Star-Advertiser site.

Water Main Break: Summary by Board of Water Supply & Other Agencies

Nanakuli Water Main Break. Screen capture from KHON2 video 7/28/15.

Nanakuli Water Main Break. Screen capture from KHON2 video 7/28/15.

On 8/3/2015, BWS provided time line of events (see below).

Questions asked of BWS:

1. Reason for the break?
Plastic PVC pipe broke – the cause is still under investigation.

2. Was repair time standard, longer than usual, or extremely long?
Due to damage to the sewer lateral line repairs took an extra day. BWS cannot do repairs to sewer line – falls under City Environmental Services (ENV). The line appears to be a private sewer line but due to the emergency situation ENV approved the repairs BWS will pay for repairs. Sewer line was made of clay so that made it impossible for BWS crew to detect the line above ground.

3. The two additional breaks on the coast – were they a result of this break?
That is a possibility but those breaks are still under investigation.

4. Was this break a result of the current road widening project?
Possible but still under investigation.

5. If this break happened half mile east where are the water mains located?
BWS did not have an answer but will check. This is the stretch of Farrington Highway by the garden between Kahe power plant and Piliokahi Avenue.

OTS Supervisor Report:

At approximately 6:51 an OTS field supervisor determined buses couldn’t traverse the bridge for two reasons: Uncertainty of the capacity of the bridge and the buses couldn’t make the turn at the park. Early Sunday morning when the roads were clear OTS sent 4 empty buses to the coast to shuttle residents along the coast while handivans were used to move residents to and from Kapolei.

Honolulu Police Department (HPD):

Per Major Kendo from HPD –
Initial call came in at 4:21.
HPD on scene at 4:34 at 4:47 bridge opened.
WCEAR all opened at 11:25 Sunday.
Opening WCEAR caused more of a problem. Community education needs to take place notifying residents that WCEAR needs to be used to move between two locations on he coast and NOT to get ahead of traffic on Farrington Highway.

Department of Transportation Services (DTS):

DTS needs to control traffic signals but a T1 line needs to be installed.
DTS is planning to have permanent message boards put up to alert residents to traffic conditions.

Timeline for Farrington Highway 24-Inch Transmission Water Main Break

4:30 pm – Main break on Farrington Hwy near Nanakuli Beach Park reported to BWS Control Center.
4:40 pm – BWS Troubleshooter dispatched.
5:30 pm – BWS Troubleshooter arrives on site and begins process to isolate main. HPD is also onsite. All lanes on Farrington Hwy. are closed.
6:20 pm – BWS crews arrive on site.
6:32 pm – BWS issues media advisory of mainbreak on a 24” transmission main on Farrington Hwy near Nanakuli Beach Park.
6:45 pm – Mainbreak isolation is complete. All customers have water, however some may experience low water pressures.
7:15 pm – BWS crews begin excavation to make repairs. HPD able to open one west-bound lane.
7:25 am – BWS issues media advisory BWS is repairing 24” transmission main.
3:30 am – Excavation complete. Repairs to 24” main begins.
6:30 am – BWS crews notices sewer water trickling into bottom of excavation trench and notifies ENV. ENV troubleshooter determines this is private sewer lateral, however ENV management authorizes ENV crews to make repairs. BWS to reimburse costs of repairs.
8:49 am – BWS issues media advisory requesting residents from Honokai Hale to Waianae to use water sparingly as repairs to the 24” transmission main continue to help conserve water.
4:47 pm – BWS issues media advisory indicating that repair of sewer lateral has delayed the water main repair.
5:30 pm – ENV completes repair of private sewer lateral.
7:15 pm – 24” water main repaired. Backfilling of trench begins.
7:30 pm – Paving contractor begins emergency road repairs.
8:00 pm – BWS begins flushing of repaired portion of 24” water main.
8:35 pm – BWS issues media advisory that repairs are continuing and water is safe to drink.
11:30 pm – BWS completes flushing and begins disinfection of repaired portion of 24” main.
2:45 am – Paving contractor completes emergency road repairs.
5:02 am – BWS issues media advisory that that emergency road repairs are complete, but two west-bound lanes are still closed as BWS completes procedures to disinfect the repaired portion of the water main.
5:30 am – Disinfection process completed and water samples taken by BWS Microlab for testing.
6:15 am – Contractor begins removal of traffic control devices and HPD prepares to open Farrington Hwy to normal traffic.
6:56 am – BWS issues media advisory that all lanes of Farrington Hwy have been opened as of 6:30 am. BWS is awaiting test results from the disinfection process and request that residents still use water sparingly.
6:04 am – BWS issues media advisory that results of water tests indicated water is safe to drink and that the repaired 24” main has been placed back in service
11:56 am – BWS issues final news release that water system has recovered and residents from Honokai Hale to Makaha may return to normal water use

Kolekole Pass and Emergency Bypass Update

Kolekole Pass & Emergency Bypass Update from Senator Shimabukuro:

A constituent recently asked for information about Kolekole Pass and emergency evacuations, and my response is below:

Funds from Sen. Daniel Inouye were expended to repair a bridge at Kolekole Pass a few years ago. However, unfortunately since the Navy no longer actively uses Kolekole, there is apparently a lack of federal money to further improve it.

A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is being worked on to allow Kolekole pass to be used in declared emergencies. If Farrington Hwy is totally blocked, residents can be evacuated with shuttles, and emergency vehicles can also use the pass.

There is also an MOA that’s nearly complete for the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Rd (WCEAR). I am seeking the Nanakuli homesteaders’ support to possibly extend WCEAR from Helelua St. to Piliokahi Ave so that emergencies like the water main break could be totally bypassed in the future.

We are also working to widen Farrington Hwy in Nanakuli to improve the bottleneck and make more room to possibly contraflow traffic when there are emergencies.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have further questions or concerns, at 586-7793 or