• Tuesday, September 25, 2018
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Kapiolani Boulevard afternoon contra-flow canceled in aftermath of water main break

  • COURTESY GOAKAMAI

    Traffic was backed up along Kapiolani Boulevard near Ala Moana Center Monday afternoon as crews worked to repair a broken water main near the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

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A broken 12-inch water main on Kapiolani Boulevard between Kaheka Street and Atkinson Drive has been replaced, but traffic and businesses continue to be disrupted today.

Two Ewa-bound lanes of Kapiolani Boulevard have reopened since Monday’s water main break while all Diamond Head-bound lanes remain closed, said Honolulu Board of Water Supply spokeswoman Kathleen Pahinui. However, the afternoon contra-flow on Kapiolani Boulevard has been canceled today. Motorists are asked to continue to avoid the area and use alternate routes.

Crews are testing the new pipe today but Pahinui could not say definitively when normal traffic is expected to resume.

A private construction crew working on a new building in the area “nicked our pipe” sometime between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monday, Pahinui said.

“The broken pipe has been replaced, but we need to ensure the integrity of the repair,” she said.

The broken water main cut off water to a nearby condominium and to a handful of businesses on the mauka side of Kapiolani Boulevard at 1646 Kapiolani Blvd.

Repair crews installed a temporary water bypass to the condo and set up a water wagon near the Papa John’s Pizza restaurant, which also remains without water.

The building includes Papa John’s, PUNCH Training Centre, Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, TOHO Pizza, The Nailery Beauty Center and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Snooky Fujikawa, the owner of PUNCH Training Centre, said some clients canceled both their private and group lessons Monday afternoon and again today.

“Today is kind of a soft day,” Fujikawa said. “It’s put a damper on things. It’s a bit of an inconvenience. You can’t use the restroom in the area and it makes it more of a challenge for the clients to get here.”

Crystal Amado, shift manager at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, said her store opened today but is only selling pre-made, cold items.

“We’re really slow, yeah,” Amado said. “It’s really dead and foot traffic is really light. We’re still without water. We are open but we’re just serving cold drinks right now. We need hot water, so our espresso bar is turned off because it takes water pressure.”

The store closed before 7 p.m. Monday, more than three hours early.

Amado hopes repair crews can reopen Kapiolani Boulevard to normal traffic as soon as possible.

“Right now,” she said, “if you drive by, there’s a big hole in the road.”

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