One Lane of Kalanianaole Avenue to be Closed Near Hilo Pier
A project to repair a major Hilo sewer line will require the county to close one lane on a block of Kalanianaole Avenue on Monday.
The around-the-clock closure and resulting detour will be in place for up to two months, and possibly longer.
Officials with the Department of Environmental Management had originally planned to close down one lane of Kalanianaole and begin the repair project in September. But inspection of the 42-inch sewer main showed greater corrosion of the reinforced concrete pipe than previously thought, so the closing of the lane was moved up to Monday.
However, because specialized equipment and materials are not immediately available, the work on the sewer line won’t be started until next month.
Dora Beck, the department’s interim director, said the sewer line lies under the makai lane of Kalanianaole, and county engineers are concerned that the heavy traffic on that roadway could cause the pipe to fail.
“We just want to take the stress off the pipe,” she said.
This phase of the Kalaniaole Avenue Sewer Rehabilitation Project involves the block between Kuhio Street, which leads to Hilo’s pier, and Keaa Street, which leads to the Waiakea Fire Station.
During the closure, traffic heading toward downtown Hilo will travel on the mauka lane of Kalanianaole. Traffic heading in the Keaukaha direction will be detoured onto Keaa Street, then onto the portion of Kamehameha Avenue that runs next to Hilo’s airport and then back to Kalanianaole via Silva Street.
County officials are concerned about the integrity of the line because it carries 2.8 million gallons of sewage each day to the Pua pump station located near the old wastewater treatment plant. From there the effluent is pumped to the new treatment plant on the other side of the airport.
The repair work involves inserting sections of new pipe into the existing sewer main, a process known as sliplining.
A total of 4,800 feet of pipe will be repaired during the $7.5 million project. The next phase, which is scheduled for later this year, involves the stretch of Kalanianaole from Kuhio Street to Baker Avenue.