City begins 1,200-foot sewer dig
A $1 million machine must plow a straight underground line for a sewer project
She weighs 11 tons, and her "mouth" will chew about five feet of dirt and rocks per hour.
"Lynnette" -- a microtunneling machine owned by Frank Coluccio Construction Co. -- was lowered into her newest work site yesterday in McCully.
The job before the $1 million piece of equipment is to dig a perfectly straight, 1,200-foot-long tunnel underneath the Ala Wai Canal and Kaiolu Street to house a new sewer line.
Then, "Lynnette" has to do it again for a second line about 10 feet away, said Franco Coluccio, vice president and general manager of the company doing the specialized job for the city.
The microtunneling work is the latest phase of the $15 million emergency bypass project begun May 30 after the aging main sewer line burst in March, spilling 48 million gallons of raw sewage into the Ala Wai Canal.
Microtunneling refers to digging a tunnel, no bigger than 8 feet in diameter, without opening a trench and disrupting activity above ground of the tunnel.
This microtunneling machine was named after Coluccio Construction's Hawaii operations manager Lynnette Langsi, Coluccio said yesterday at the 44-foot-deep pit on the mauka bank of the Ala Wai where tunneling is expected to begin today or tomorrow. A dozen other company microtunneling machines of different sizes are named after women in the Coluccio family, he said.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
The city is starting microtunneling under the Ala Wai Canal for the sewer pipe replacement project. Workers lowered microtunneling equipment yesterday into a pit on the mauka side of the Ala Wai. CLICK FOR LARGE
Immediately behind the microtunneling machine, 20-foot lengths of 48-inch-diameter steel pipe will be pushed into place, Coluccio explained. Dirt loosened by the cutting head of the machine will be removed from the tunnel in slurry pipes, Coluccio said.
Teams of 10 workers will work 12-hour shifts, with the microtunneling going 24 hours a day until the receiving pit at Kuhio Avenue and Kaiolu Street is reached, he said.
The tunneling was postponed from a January start while the city decided whether to alter its design of the project, said Lee Porter, senior project inspector for construction manager M&E Pacific Inc.
When the new sewer lines under the canal and Kaiolu Street are finished in the next few months, the city will remove the temporary pumps along Ala Wai Boulevard, Coluccio said.
The Beach Walk pump station, at Kuhio Avenue and Kaiolu Street, will then pump sewage through the new lines.