comscore One eastbound lane of Kalanianaole Highway reopened after water main break | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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One eastbound lane of Kalanianaole Highway reopened after water main break

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Traffic on the H-1 freeway heading east was backed up this afternoon.

Update: 7:53 a.m.

One lane of Kalanianaole Highway eastbound was reopened at 11 p.m. last night, however Board of Water Supply officials said they will need to temporarily close down all eastbound lanes later this morning in order to continue to repair the broken 24-inch water main.

It is unknown exactly when the eastbound lanes will be shut down.

Meanwhile, officials continue to urge motorists and residents of East Honolulu to avoid the area if possible.

Previous coverage

A water main break at the eastern end of the H-1 freeway caused a massive, daylong traffic jam today that spread like octopus tentacles into the side streets of Kaimuki and major arteries like the Pali Highway.

And police said the repairs might take until Monday.

“Use alternate routes,” the Honolulu Police Department urged succinctly in its latest update around 5 p.m.

At some points during the day, the eastbound lanes of the H-1 were backed up for miles.

The trouble began at 4:45 a.m., when a 24-inch transmission line broke on Kalanianaole Highway between Kilauea Avenue and Waikui Street, the Board of Water Supply said.

Police closed the eastbound lanes of the freeway, with traffic exiting at Kilauea Avenue near Kahala Mall.

The break initially affected customers from Keanu Street in Palolo to Black Point to Ainakoa. However, after crews isolated the damaged section, water service was restored to all but 11 nearby customers, the water board said.

The board set up a water wagon at 4494 Aliikoa St. to provide a water source for them.

A paving contractor was brought in to restore the heavily damanaged roadway. Intially, the board thought the repairs might be finished by the end of the day, but now the completion schedule remains uncertain.

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  • SA – please provide more details where on Kalanianaole Hwy the water main break is. Is it under the freeway adjacent to Kahala Mall? Or on the highway across from Star of the Sea Church? And what are the cross streets? Thank you

      • when was the last time BOW inspected the force main at this location?
        Does BOW do any inspection / preventive maintenance?
        Prevention is the answer – waiting to fix breaks is a terrible solution.
        Why is HPD responding? what happened to BOW spokesperson?

    • Emergency traffic management could have helped. For example, open up at least one land on the west- bound side as well as one other lane in the east- bound direction. Have police actually direct traffic. Time changes to traffic flow…all very basic stuff.

  • All the money wasted on a train that will not help with Oahu’s traffic problem. as our infrastructure crumbles due to neglect. Our politicians need to take care of what we have rather than pouring billions into a train that is broken before it is finished.

    • HPD should’ve had officers out by 6th Ave. offramp directing the flow of traffic. We took this offramp heading to KCC. We usually take Koko Head Ave. offramp. Also, at Koko Head Ave. offramp they could’ve worked the traffic lights between the Fire station and library. Don’t know how far the other offramps were closed after the Koko Head Ave. cuz we were heading back west direction but HPD could’ve done controlled traffic lights in the area. Could see cones and only one lane of traffic heading east after the Koko Head offramp. Only my opinion… And, with the rain, hope there weren’t any fender benders. Had an accident 2 miles out of the H3 tunnel from Kaneohe heading to Aiea. I’ll find out on the evening news. Drive safe people…the roads are wet.

        • @islandsun easier for them to sit in the comfort of their car with a radar gun, then actually get out and be helpful.

        • Sad but oh so true. One day damaged vehicle in L/H lane at Harano tunnel going Kaneohe. Tunnel has three lanes. Police were all smoking, joking, drinking coffee and enjoying donuts while two lanes of traffic squeezed into one lane, the other, R/H lane wide open. Police blocked access to this lane for no reason.

  • I don’t know where the Star-Advertiser got it’s picture, but I couldn’t find a single traffic cam to view the situation. A web search brought up several pages, but none worked. They were either out of date, not found, or linked to other pages that were bad.

    • State DOT workers were watching Hulu and Netflix on their state computers. Needed extra bandwidth to prevent their movies from locking up. Turned off all the cameras.

  • break is between kilauea and ainakoa in the east bound lanes, you can not use eastbound lanes at the east end of the freeway, eastbound traffic is directed around star of the sea and then onto kalani eastbound lanes, kalani westbound traffic is directed onto the freeway, no turns allowed into kahala. took me 30 minutes from puuikena to ainakoa westbound.

    board of water repair crew told me once that he uses an hour per inch when repairing waterlines.

    24 inch line works out to 24 hours if nothing else goes wrong.

  • Use alternative routes? You mean go over the pali to the windward side and drive through waimanalo if you need to go anywhere past Kahala Mall. The incompetence of HPD is just staggering, they give little if any thought to the general public that pays their wages. How can you shut down the only major road serving the entire east side of the island for the whole day? At the very least, 1 west bound lane should have been converted to allow traffic to go east. They just don’t care how many people they inconvenience.

  • Too bad they don’t have ability to open the median in the freeway so they can at least create a contra flow lane in these types of emergency situations.

  • left nuuanu at 3 p.m. went over the pali, traffic piled up before kam hwy intersection all the way to castle hospital junction. turned onto kalani hwy east bound and used old kalani to bypass enchanted lake traffic light. got back on kalani through waimanalo to find an officer working the light at jack in the box. traffic was clear after that light all the way past aina haina. home at 4:15 p.m.

  • It just took me over four hours to get from King/Pensacola to Hawaii Kai. Spent 1 1/2 hours on Kilauea in Kahala with hundreds and hundreds of others. Waited through 5 traffic lights at most cross streets like Pahoa Ave. Finally got up and around behind Kahala Nui/SoS school. Thanks Board of Water, and thanks Kirk for the ever crumbling infrastructure on this deteriorating island.

  • Maintaining our infrastructures is not a priority. Everything is about the rail Expect to see many more breakdowns as the rail gets more attention and money.
    Oh well the Zipper lane a few years ago and now a water break ?

    • My aunt said that she was trying to drop my nephew and his friends off at the mall and they literally got out of the car and walked, beating her to the shopping center lol!

      • Sounds like years ago on H1 Aiea heading west when the military equipment on its trailer hit the pedestrian overpass and shut down the freeway. People got out of their cars and taxis on Nimitz and walked to the airport. That was by far worse than today’s mess. H1 west, Kamehameha Hwy., Moanalua Road and any other alternate routes all clogged.

  • On occasion I used to ride my bicycle from Honolulu all the way to Hawaii Kai and back. But I wouldn’t have done so in the rain. Still, if it means the difference between getting home or being stuck in gridlock, I’d have carried the bike and parked the car in a parking lot and rode home. The bike on my car rack came in handy decades ago when my car broke down on a freeway in California and I rode back home on my bike as I couldn’t get the car fixed on a weekend and AAA wouldn’t drive me 50 miles. I’d never dare to drive without a bike handy for backup.

  • Let’s be clear about reality: all the real, good paying jobs are in town, all the good public and private schools are in town, and so it is best to live in town. Forget East, or West.

  • “police say repairs might take until Monday” WHAT POLICE? Not A policeman to be seen throughout this mess. And what “alternative routes” are they speaKING ABOUT? There are none-duh. Only saw Board of water supply employees directing traffic and doing a bad job of it. No one keeping the flow of traffic from moving along or alternating all the congestion of vehicles merging from 5 or six directions. All these vehicles following the traffic light at Ainakoa to Kal highway is ridiculous. Let’s see- thousands of cars and the Ainakoa light allowing 20-30 cars per light cycle- hardly any traffic on the west bound lanes on Kal highway at Ainakoa Our D. O. T. has failed us again!

    • HPD should have diverted westbound traffic right to Ainako, left to Malia, right up Kilauea, left onto Hunakai, then right on Waialae (by Zippy’s) so that all the eastbound vehicles could flow continuously onto Kal Hwy.

  • Please pray that HPD who are charge of traffic management know what they’re doing they seem to be very good at just standing around as traffic backs up. They need to be proactive and not just work with the lights as traffic backs up and lanes sit empty. This is a big part of our problem. Training and thinking things out to make it easy on the people having to go to work

  • The SA hasn’t updated this story in five hours, and they leave the photo of yesterday’s traffic mess on this site with a caption that reads “this afternoon.”

    Went to Kahala Mall around 9 this morning and hardly saw any cars on the road in the area unlike yesterday when traffic was backed up on nearly every street in the area. My guess is traffic is flowing OK by now.

    Think I’ll check a TV station’s web site for an update.

  • The incompetence of HPD, DOT and BWS is just unbelievable. All they had to do was cone off one west bound lane to divert east bound traffic to that side for 1 block to get past the water main break, then back to the east lanes. But no … just shut it down completely huh. As usual, they did what was best for them instead of what was best for the general public.
    When will Honolulu voters wake up? Keep re-electing the same corrupt fools every cycle and expect a different result. Voters no doubt deserve this type of disregard from their elected and appointed officials. Not a peep out of any of them on this issue yet.

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