By TOM CALLIS
Tribune-Herald staff writer
Keaukaha residents will have to endure another two months of heavy traffic as the sewer project that has rerouted drivers from Kalanianaole Avenue faces delays.
The current detour, which diverts traffic between Kauhane Avenue and Baker Avenue, was most recently expected to be removed this month. Earlier estimates had it being removed in January.
Lyle Hirota, acting Hawaii County Wastewater Division Chief, said Wednesday that the detour, set up in November, will be in place until mid-April.
Hirota said the $7.5 million sewer rehabilitation project is taking longer than expected due to ground water levels and other unexpected “hurdles.”
“We’re all trying to get this done as soon as we can,” Hirota said.
The extension doesn’t sit well with some Keaukaha residents who have been frustrated by the increased traffic volumes.
“It’s not safe here,” said Krystal Kalili.
Kalili operates a daycare from her home on Nahale-A Avenue, part of the detour route.
Some neighbors have put up signs urging drivers to slow down, but not all listen, she said.
“They just speed faster,” Kalili said.
The county instituted a 20 mph zone when the detour was put in place. Speed bumps were also added.
Kalili said she would like to see more police in the neighborhood rather than at the start of the detour.
“It’s all free game,” she said of her block.
The project started in September with a previous detour set up down Silva Street.
To replace a deteriorating sewer pipe, Isemoto Contracting Co. is sliplining 4,800 feet of new pipe under Kalanianaole Avenue.
Hirota said workers had trouble sealing off ground water due to underground “voids,” which contribute to the delay.
Some rock was also harder than expected, slowing progress, he said.
Crews are now working weekends and nights to try to catch up, Hirota said.
He said the delay isn’t costing the county any more money.
The full project is expected to be complete in May.
Email Tom Callis at firstname.lastname@example.org.