2-year pipe project breaks ground
Kapiolani businesses are expecting major disruptions
Businesses on Kapiolani Boulevard and surrounding streets expect to take a hit in the pocketbook as a two-year sewer and water pipe repair project breaks ground today.
Onjin Kim, owner of Onjin's Cafe on Kamakee Street, said business dropped 30 percent during the last project.
"You know how many times they tore that (road) up?" she said. "Since I had this restaurant seven years ago, they tore it up and they put it back, tore it up and put it back ... and business really slows down."
Crews are expected to begin construction on Kamakee Street today as part of the project to replace aging sewer and water lines from Ward Avenue along Kapiolani Boulevard to Kalakaua Avenue, city spokesman Bill Brennan said.
Officials have broken the repair project into phases to reduce the impact on traffic.
The first phase, which includes Kamakee Street and later Kalakaua Avenue, is expected to involve the closing of some lanes as needed, Brennan said.
"We plan to keep the public notified, at least weekly, if not daily, where the lane closures are likely to be," Brennan said.
Su Shin, spokeswoman for the Board of Water Supply, said there will be some construction on Kapiolani Boulevard, but no major construction until after the New Year.
Kim said she hopes the city "at least keeps lanes open so they can go by even though it's slower traffic."
Kamakee's work is expected to be confined between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to avoid the morning and afternoon traffic, Brennan said.
The construction will continue until Nov. 22, when it stops for the holiday season. It is set to resume in January.
"That's to accommodate the businesses in the area and the busy shopping period," Shin said.
Construction crews expect to work in phases on Kamakee Street near Queen Street and later along Kalakaua Avenue, Brennan said.
Meanwhile, business owners along Kapiolani Boulevard are planning ahead for the day construction begins there.
Raymond Chau, chef and owner of XO Seafood Restaurant on Kapiolani across from Atkinson Drive, said he might hold an aggressive promotion to bring people in during the construction.
"We have to," he said. "We are right on the intersection; usually it's very heavy traffic here, so it will affect us a lot. We cannot just lay there."