Traffic disruptions continue today on Moanalua Freeway as the Honolulu Board of Water supply addresses the complete shut down of one of the two major pipelines carrying water to urban Honolulu.
Board of Water Supply Supply officials said today during a press conference that the current traffic and repairs are related to an incident on Friday where a contractor,Hensel Phelps, damaged a 42-inch transmission main while tunneling under the freeway to get to a new sewer line.
BWS officials said they are not asking for water conservation yet as the damaged pipeline is redundant. However, they said swift repair of the broken 42-inch main is critical. The damaged main, which carries water from Oahu’s west side to as far as Hawaii Kai, is the largest size that BWS manages. It carries more than 15 million gallons of water.
BWS officials and other partners say they are working around the clock to make the repairs, which are projected to go into the work week, and possibly longer.
Motorists should expect 24/7 lane closures indefinitely on the Moanalua Freeway from the H-1 Freeway split until the Fort Shafter on-ramp in the westbound direction.
The Fort Shafter/Ahua Street exit will remain closed 24/7 until repairs are completed. Motorists are urged to avoid the area, but if they most travel there, they may use Nimitz Highway or the Airport Viaduct as an alternate route.
Today two westbound lanes will remain closed through Monday morning.
Starting Monday only the right westbound lane will be closed from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. in consideration of weekday, daytime traffic. However, both lanes will be closed again from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
There will be signage and cones to direct drivers, who should plan additional travel time into their schedules. Drivers said be extra cautious especially at night as BWS officials say “street lights on Moanalua Freeway from the Middle Street overpass to the Fort Shafter on-ramp are inoperable during the repair.”