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Crews finish Nimitz repairs

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  • Workers use heavy equipment to fix a water main break on Nimitz HIghway this morning.

Board of Water Supply crews finally finished repairing Nimitz Highway after a 16-inch water main break Tuesday night between Pacific and Alakawa streets.

A Board of Water Supply spokesman said the repairs were completed  by 8 a.m. and all Ewa-bound lanes are now open.

The repairs didn’t happen in time for state crews to open the Nimitz Highway contra-flow lanes this morning.

A 16-inch main, built in 1942, broke Tuesday night between Pacific and Alakawa streets, creating traffic jams that spread out from Iwilei and Kalihi as commuters clogged Nimitz Highway and alternate routes.

Motorists endured a second day of frustrating traffic jams during the afternoon commute Thursday when damage to a gas line delayed the resurfacing of the road. Traffic was also heavier than usual during the day and during the morning commute.

The water pipe was repaired Thursday morning and service restored to the last of six businesses affected by the water main break.

But work crews damaged a synthetic natural gas line during the repair. On Thursday, Gas Company crews fixed the protective coating of a line that was damaged during the excavation process.

"The pipeline was never compromised," Gas Co. spokeswoman Stephanie Ackerman said Thursday afternoon. "There was no gas leak. Before we cover up the hole, we have to re-coat the gas pipeline. When that’s done, they’ll close up the hole."

The far left town-bound lane of Nimitz Highway near Pacific Street and Alakawa Street were converted into a second Ewa-bound lane during the evening commute, and while that helped, traffic was still a mess.

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