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Tuesday, May 30, 2000

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Engineers from the Board of Water Supply survey the task
at hand on Farrington Highway between Nanaikeola and
Helelua streets last night following a water main break.

Broken water
main pipe floods
Farrington Hwy.

Work crews are able to
partially open the highway
this morning

By Burl Burlingame
and Helen Altonn


Waianae residents were urged to restrict water use to essential needs today until repairs are completed on a water main that broke yesterday, washing out Memorial Day commuters along Farrington Highway in Nanakuli.

Work crews were able to open two lanes of Honolulu-bound traffic and one lane in the Waianae direction in time for rush hour this morning.

Water was restored to most homes but the supply is low because half of the water usually designated for Waianae comes from Ewa and can't get to Waianae because of the broken pipe, said Denise DeCosta, Honolulu Board of Water Supply spokeswoman.

By Ken Ige, Star-Bulletin
Water crews were busy trying to repair a broken water
main on Farrington Highway in Nanakuli today. One lane
on the road was open in each direction plus one more
townbound on the ocean side of the highway.

Some homes on high ground may have no water because there's not enough pressure to push it up, she said.

She said workers were trying to complete repairs today but "it's one of the worst pipe breaks we've had."

The pipe is two feet wide and 18 feet long and badly corroded underneath, she said. Usually, repair of such a big main takes 24 hours and flooding hampered the work yesterday, DeCosta said.

"Hopefully, there's a lot of sun to dry up mud along the shoulder of the road."

Rushing water caused part of the highway to collapse yesterday and created a muddy swamp on the shoulder between Nanaikapono School and Helelua Street.

Police routed traffic along a single northbound lane yesterday. The Kolekole pass was also opened to help commuters and was closed again after rush hour this morning.

Traffic backed up for miles in both directions as motorists took turns on the single lane. Side streets in the area do not connect to allow a detour.

By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
A young resident of Nanakuli negotiates flooded sidewalks
trying not to get her feet wet last night following a water main
break earlier in the evening on Farrington Highway
near Nanaikeola street.

However, the city budget passed last week provides $1 million to plan an alternate access road linking existing roads in Waianae.

Water shot up in the air in front of a Fast Stop store, created a pool at least six feet deep at the site, and extending 100 yards in both directions, roughly following the bed of an abandoned railroad track.

"At least it happened on a holiday, late in the day (4:15 p.m.)," said DeCosta. "Imagine how the traffic would have been during rush hour on a workday."

Workers labored through the evening, trying to pinpoint the source of the break and repair it. Their job was complicated by the existence of two main pipes parallel under the roadbed and several smaller lines as well.

DeCosta said the 24-inch pipe has been a "constant breaker" and was scheduled for replacement soon.

"It's over 70 years old, it's cast iron, and along the coast the pipes are immersed in salty soil or even the ocean's water table.

"They corrode."

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