Water main repair limits UH parking
: About 30 parking stalls have been blocked on Metcalf Street since last week, while the Board of Water Supply works down the street. Perhaps they plan to do more work in the blocked area, but so far, they have not. In the meantime, the parking availability at the University of Hawaii suffers. Could not the Board of Water Supply plan their work better so that they block parking spots only when they need to? It strikes me as arrogantly dismissive of public needs to do otherwise.
Answer: Some parking stalls have been reopened, but it will be two weeks or so before all parking on Metcalf is restored.
But be warned: The parking will be disrupted temporarily again as the $1.05 million Punahou Water System Improvements project wraps up. Work is scheduled to be completed in May.
"It's not that that we don't realize that parking in the UH area is prime -- we very much realize that," said Board of Water Supply spokeswoman Su Shin.
That's why the contractor did most of the water main installation work during the university's spring break, she said.
However, workers "hit hard rock, which made their work last much longer."
Shin explained that the contractor had to obtain a street usage permit from the city Department of Transportation Services to work on the water line. One condition of the permit was that 24 hours' notice be given and signs put up if any parking area is blocked.
It's because of the advance notice requirement that the area is blocked, even though no active work is taking place, Shin said.
The possibility that workers might have to go back there is keeping the no-parking signs up, she said.
"It's a give-and-take," she said. "Either do it this way so the contractor is much more efficient or we pull the signs and you have the potential to stall the project and make it last longer.
"It's not the perfect situation, but because the water line is right there, in order to do the work on the water line, we do need to impact the parking."
As for the project, Shin said the water main is already in place and workers are now installing the fire hydrants. No-parking signs along Metcalf, between Hoonanea and Hunnewell streets, already have been pulled. As work progresses, more spaces will be opened up, Shin said.
"Barring unforeseen issues," all hydrants are expected to be installed within the next two weeks.
"Once that's done, they will pull the signs, so people will be able to park there again while they do the testing," Shin said.
But, after that brief respite, parking will be blocked again temporarily so workers can make the transfer from the old water line to the new and complete the connection, she said.
For more information on this project, e-mail email@example.com, "attention construction section," or call 748-5730.
You also can look up all Board of Water Supply construction projects at boardofwatersupply.com. Click on "community," then "construction projects."
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