Niu Valley sewer fix halted
The city is trying to condemn shopping center property, which could take a year
The city has suspended a project to replace a 16-inch sewer force main along Kalanianaole Highway in Niu Valley because it has been unable to secure land in the Niu Valley Shopping Center parking lot needed for the work.
The city is open to further negotiation with property owner King's Cathedral and Chapels, but has begun condemnation proceedings to temporarily secure 4,600 square feet of land in front of the KFC Restaurant for the project, said Craig Nishimura, Department of Design and Construction deputy director.
Condemnation could take up to a year, Nishimura said.
Work on the project stopped Aug. 24, said Greg Smith, construction manager for contractor CH2M Hill. So far, CH2M Hill drilled a 1,300-foot long pilot hole under Kalanianaole Highway, Smith said. The length of the replacement line from Niuiki Circle to Kawaikui Beach Park is 3,300 feet.
King's Cathedral wants the contractor to have $10 million in insurance coverage rather than the customary $1 million, Nishimura said.
In a written statement, King's Cathedral acknowledged insurance coverage as an issue preventing an agreement.
"The insurance carrier for King's Cathedral has requested coverage of the City and County of Honolulu that seems to have created the challenge," according to the release.
But Nishimura said, "The insurance is just one issue. There are other escalating issues."
He said the landowner is also not willing to guarantee the contractor access to the property during the construction and wants the city to assume some environmental requirements.
King's Cathedral said it has allowed the city to do the needed work upon its acceptance of a right of entry.
Nishimura said King's Cathedral's proposed right of entry is revocable. So it can refuse entry to the property at any time during the construction.
The project involves drilling a bore under Kalanianaole Highway for a replacement 16-inch, high-density, flexible polyethylene pipe from Niuiki Circle to Kawaikui Beach Park, from the mauka side of the highway to the makai side.
The city explored other properties for the drilling equipment, but none of them will work, because the contractor also needs to install a line from the pipe to the pumping station near the KFC Restaurant, Nishimura said.
The new force main will replace an aging cast-iron pipe that broke several time in February 2005, forcing the city to install a temporary, above-ground bypass line to stop sewage spills.
Work on the replacement line started in June. And the city had hoped to get the new pipe in the ground and operational by the end of the year, at a cost of $9 million.