Strange structure used for sewer line cement


POSTED: Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Question: Near the intersection of Kaneohe Bay Drive and Saddle Road, there is a strange-looking apparatus with the name “;Soil Mech”; on the side. It resembles something found in the Midwest to store grains. What on earth is this?

Answer: That funnel-looking structure is a grout batch plant, used to inject cement into the ground to stabilize sewer lines.

It is being used by Frank Coluccio Construction for the city's nearly $8 million Kaneohe Bay Drive Trunk Sewer Reconstruction Project.

The cement is used to insulate sewer lines, preventing them from settling later, said Lynnette Langsi, office manager for the company. It is used in areas where the ground is not stable.

Langsi explained that cement is injected into the ground, forming underground columns. The sewer line then “;is installed basically through these cement columns.”;

Back in the old days, piles were pounded into the ground, and the sewer pipe was laid on top. The procedure today is “;a little less invasive,”; Langsi said.

The plant can be used for other purposes, such as building an underground wall to prevent water from seeping, but it is generally used for pipelines, Langsi said.

Q: What can the government do for a street woman who is handicapped? Every time I walk to town, I see her in her wheelchair on King Street between Chinatown and Macy's. I don't think she is well, and the last I saw her, she was on the ground sleeping.

A: If you or any other passer-by thinks she needs help, call 911 immediately, said Michelle Yu, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department.

Beat officers are familiar with the woman and talk to her periodically to make sure she is OK.

“;She doesn't want any help,”; Yu said. If she is not obstructing the sidewalk or committing any crime, police cannot force her to go to a shelter or any other place, she said.

We spoke to the woman, who said her name is Judy. She appeared relatively well groomed and her dress was clean, although there were scrapes on her face and her hands were well weathered. Her wheelchair also looked in good shape. She blamed her scrapes on sunburn, from sleeping in the sun.

Judy said she does not want to go to any homeless shelter and prefers being on her own. She said she generally sleeps in the Chinatown area, but was vague with details. She did not want to give her last name nor the names of relatives and said the only help she wanted was some money.

Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).