Underground cable relocation

Ala Wai Canal

The State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) plans to dredge the Ala Wai Canal starting in June 2018 to facilitate dredging which allows for flood control and increased recreational use, pending approval of permits.

To enable dredging, Hawaiian Electric Company plans to relocate existing 46 kilovolt (kV) electrical cables buried across the Canal. Pending approval by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, we hope to begin the work late in 2017 and finish in mid-2018 before the Canal dredging is scheduled to begin.

The project is expected to cost about $20 million. In addition to clearing the way for dredging, this project will help maintain reliable service essential for those who live, work and visit Waikiki, a major economic engine for the state.

To minimize disruption from conventional trenching within city streets, Hawaiian Electric will use horizontal directional drilling to install the new cables. This allows for a shorter route and significantly reduces construction costs, duration, traffic disruption, noise and potential archaeological or cultural disruption. It was used in 2005-06 to install cables that go to Ford Island.

As with any major construction, however, some short-term impacts are unavoidable. We will make every effort to limit closed traffic lanes, noise and dust.

As part of an environmental assessment that will be filed, feedback was sought from the community and descendants of families that traditionally lived in the area. Hawaiian Electric has also conducted archeological and cultural studies required of a project in Waikiki.

An extensive program of outreach is continuing with individuals and communities on both sides of the Canal. They include the McCully/Moiliili Neighborhood Board, Waikiki Neighborhood Board, area elected officials, businesses and residents along the construction route, City Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Education, Ala Wai Elementary School, Iolani School, Department of Health and the Waikiki Improvement Association.

Hawaiian Electric first installed cables across the Ala Wai Canal in 1956 to provide Waikiki with additional electric power capacity. As electricity use increased, the original cables were replaced in 1990 with higher capacity cables still in use today. When the new cables are in service, the old ones will be removed as part of this project.

Here's a brief overview of the work that will be done:

  • Trenching and installing cables from the Waikiki Substation on Kaiolu Street to Kalaimoku Street via Ala Wai Boulevard
  • Horizontal drilling and installing cables under Ala Wai Canal from Kalaimoku Street to the Ala Wai Neighborhood Park
  • Trenching and installing cables from Ala Wai Neighborhood Park to a pole on Kamoku Street via Hihiwai Street
  • Installing cables up University Avenue to a pole using existing underground ducts.
  • Removing cables from the Ala Wai Canal.

Read the press release >
View the fact sheet >

Installing cable across the Ala Wai Canal, 1956

Photos by Hawaiian Electric Company and Photo Hawaii

Installing Cables Across the Ala Wai 1
Installing Cables Across the Ala Wai 2
Installing Cables Across the Ala Wai 3
Installing Cables Across the Ala Wai 4
Installing Cables Across the Ala Wai 5
Installing Cables Across the Ala Wai 6
Installing Cables Across the Ala Wai 7
Installing Cables Across the Ala Wai 8