Lono Kona construction to begin Monday

KAILUA-KONA — Residents of Hamburger Hill will have to brace themselves for a little noise and driving inconvenience as construction of the Lono Kona sewer project is set to begin in earnest today.

Curtis Bailey, project manager, said contract hours are set between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. No work will take place on Sundays or county holidays. The substantial completion date is projected for Sept. 6.


“You want to do it when there isn’t a lot of traffic,” Bill Kucharski, director of the Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management, said of the excavation work. “But if you do it when there isn’t, then everybody is home and they’re getting (noise) when they’re trying to sleep.”

“There’s nothing you can do at any time that isn’t going to affect someone,” he continued.

Kucharski added work will begin on Ala Onaona Street and Lamaokeola Street. There is the potential that access to a home or driveway may be blocked on occasion, but Kucharski said that would “be minimized.”

There will be no official road closures.

“We’re trying to keep access open all the time,” Bailey said. “The contractor is going to be working closely with residents adjacent to the work so we can avoid someone being stuck in their house or not able to get to their house.”

Trenches will be dug, Bailey continued, but any road hazards will be covered by steel plating to allow vehicle access when work is suspended for an evening, Sunday or holiday.

The Lono Kona project will connect 145 assessment units, or the equivalent of 268 single-family homes, across 110 lots to a sewer system. The units are currently serviced by cesspools, all of which the state has mandated closed by 2050.

Contractor Nan Inc. won the rights to the project with a bid of just over $8.5 million. A U.S. Department of Agriculture grant will provide for roughly $5 million of the cost, while the county issued $2.4 million in general obligation bonds to supplement the project. The county will accept roughly $1 million of a $3.7 million USDA loan to cover the balance.

Before construction could begin, archaeological work and environmental surveys involving the Hawaiian hawk needed completion. Kucharski said that work and other requirements to allow for excavation have been finished.

A staging area for equipment and a storage yard are being set up now in preparation of Monday’s groundbreaking. Bailey said the staging area will be located on Kalani Street between the Salvation Army and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Center.


The Department of Water Supply does not plan to piggyback any line replacement work on the back of the Lono Kona excavation, DWS Deputy Kawika Uyehara wrote in an email.

Baily added there are no planned or expected water service interruptions.

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