HONOLULU (KHON2) — Tourism officials are advising visitors to stay away from Oahu’s North Shore as traffic on Kamehameha Highway is bogged down by repairs to a water main break near Kahana Bay.

Folks who usually take Kamehameha Highway to travel up and down Oahu’s windward side have not been able to do so since Saturday, July 16.

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All traffic has to be turned around since the closure is both ways.

“We know that there’s generally traffic, it’s summer season and we know that it’s a busy time anyway,” said Kalani Kaanaana, Hawaii Tourism Authority chief brand officer. “But for all that traffic to be routed through North Shore, we just understood that that impact was going to be worse.”

“We’re just asking for visitors to consider if there’s an alternative activity that they can do or maybe switch plans and do something somewhere else, we’d prefer that they do that while the repairs are taking place.”

Kalani Kaanaana, Hawaii Tourism Authority chief brand officer

The problem is flipped for businesses south of the closure. The owner of Coconut Girls & Guys told KHON2 that she could not imagine Kamehameha Highway ever being as quiet as it was on Wednesday, July 20.

“We lost about 90% of our business,” Tracey Duarte said, “That’s Kamehameha Highway, you see how it is? There’s no cars at all.”

The Board of Water Supply expects a contraflow lane to be set up near Kahana Bay by Friday, July 22 with repairs to the water main done by Sunday, July 24. A special duty officer is stationed at the Pupukea Foodland from 2 to 6 p.m. to help with traffic control.

Opening the roadway could not come soon enough for those who are looking to avoid driving back through central Oahu to get up north.

“They get turned around at Kahana and they have to go back. I tell them they can go towards the other side to get towards, you know, Kahuku, they want to get to the sugar mill and north shore,” Duarte said.”

“And some of the locals are parking their car at Kahana and walking across the bridge and then going, having somebody pick them up from this side so they can get towards Kaneohe.”

Tracey Duarte, Coconut Girls & Guys owner

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“Obviously the incident with the pipes and everything was out of our, all of our control, but it’s something we needed to respond to and we felt like the best way to do that was to educate visitors and ask them to consider alternative attractions while those repairs are taking place,” Kaanaana said.