The traffic mess might be solved soon, but will not be if more digging is required
POSTED: 12:02 p.m. HST, Jul 22, 2014
Kailua motorists might have to live with the traffic mess near the entrance to Kailua town for up to two more weeks as city officials continue repairs on a corroded 15-inch concrete sewer pipe, 20 feet underground, that created a sinkhole July 11.
The concrete was found to be so badly corroded that city officials ended up removing an 18-foot section — much larger than the 3 feet they expected, said Mark Yonamine, the city deputy director of design and construction. The original repair, which is almost done, was complicated in part by the depth of the pipe, he said.
On Tuesday workers will examine more of the pipeline, installed in 1958, to see whether an even larger section needs to be removed, Yonamine said.
The best-case scenario would allow the workers to simply insert a lining to reinforce the pipe. If that's the case, a fix should be completed by Wednesday or so, he said.
The worst-case scenario would require digging a larger trench to remove a bigger section of pipe, Yonamine said.
"If we have to expose more pipe, that could take a couple of weeks," he said.
A larger trench would also mean a bigger section of road would have to be closed. Two Kailua-bound lanes of Kailua Road — the right lane and the middle lane — have been closed from the mauka side of Hamakua Drive since the pipe broke and will remain closed if the trench needs to be bigger, Yonamine said.
Motorists traveling into Kailua can skip the road closure by entering through Keolu Drive, in Enchanted Lake, via Kalanianaole Highway, or via H-3 or Kapaa Quarry Road, city officials advised.