In an attempt to settle an ongoing lawsuit, the city of Waikiki is paying a construction company $3.6 million after the company filed a lawsuit over the city’s supervision of their construction of a sewer line under Waikiki’s Ala Wai Canal.
In 2006, Waikiki experienced extremely heavy rains, resulting in the breakage of a main sewer line. In order to prevent the sewage from backing up into residents’ sinks and toilets, the city sent 48 million gallons of raw sewage into the Ala Wai Canal.
The city continued to remedy the problem by installing a temporary sewage pipe in the canal. According to Hawaii News Now, the temporary pipe, described as “huge” and “black,” stuck out like a sore thumb. While burial depths for sewer lines typically vary on a municipal level and pipe material, most sewer lines are buried between 12 to 14 inches deep. A sewer pipe above ground would not be sustainable for long.
Eventually, the city of Waikiki hired Seattle-based Frank Coluccio Construction company to place a permanent sewer line below the Ala Wai Canal.
Yethe company sued the city upon completion, claiming the city made them use a type of pipe material that the contractor didn’t think was the best material.
Additionally, Coluccio claimed the new pipe flooded during construction efforts, ultimately causing extra costs, damage to equipment, and work delays.
Corporation Counsel Donna Leong, considered the top attorney in Waikiki, released a statement saying, “The city disputed the majority of Coluccio’s claims but agreed to settle the case for $3.6 million so as to avoid the uncertainties and risks that are typical when proceeding to trial on the merits.”
While Coluccio claimed there were problems with the material of the pipes used, Leong noted that it satisfied specifications and requirements listed in the bid document.
The city is settling the case using its judgments and losses funds.