HONOLULU (KHON2) — It might take until the end of the week for a contraflow to open on Kamehameha Highway near Kahana. The Board of Supply originally said it may take until next Sunday for water service to be restored as Board of Water Supply crews continue to make repairs to a 30-inch water main. The Board of Water Supply later said that it may take until Sunday, July 24 for water service to be restored.
Drivers trying to get through will be turned around. Pedestrians will still be allowed through.
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For those catching the bus, there will be two emergency shuttles connecting passengers to Route 60 services near Keneke’s.
The broken main also impacts water to residents in the area. The Board of Water Supply says those living in the upper elevations of Kailua to Waimanalo may experience little to no water pressure, and an urgent water conservation request has been issued.
The situation is also testing the patience of residents who are forced to drive practically around the island to reach their destination.
The water main break caused the road to partially collapse. The Board of Water Supply says crews will be working 24-7 as they try to reopen Kamehameha Highway in Kahana. The closure blocks windward residents from driving toward Kahuku and the rest of the North Shore. Unless they’re willing to go the long way toward Kaneohe and take the H-3, a detour that can take an hour and a half.
“And with everybody else going that way, I’m sure there’s more cars,” said Tamara King, a Kaaawa resident. “So I’m really grateful that we didn’t have to do that because of the price of gas and just the time.”
She and other residents have found a way to avoid that long detour with a little help from friends.
“I have friends to drop me off over here,” said King. “Then we’re gonna have somebody pick me up on the other side, and we’ll repeat that on the way home as well.”
Same goes for Julie Elersich who already had to take the detour twice on Sunday.
“So today I parked on the other side and I walked across, thank goodness,” she said. “Then I was able to catch a ride on this side and get home. So it’s all coordinating with everybody, good thing we have good neighbors over here.”
The detour is also catching visitors on their way to the North Shore off guard.
“So we decided to take the scenic route and so we ran into this mess,” said Roland Frauchiger, who’s visiting from Los Angeles.
“The scenic route becomes even more of a scenic route?” KHON2 asked.
“It becomes a tactical route,” he said.
Board of Water Supply crews said the plan is to stabilize the road, and so they can at least open one lane. BWS said the goal is to get one lane open on Kamehameha Highway so they can contra-flow traffic. But a spokesperson says that might not happen until Friday.
Water service won’t be back until Sunday.
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In the meantime, residents from Waimanalo to Kahana are asked to conserve water by only using it for cooking and personal hygiene.