LAHAINA - Retailers located near the intersection of Lahaina's Front and Prison streets are bracing for temporary road closures next month when Maui County begins work on sewage lines.
"That's going to hurt a lot of our business," said Javier Barberi, owner of Breakwall Shave Ice Co.
Barberi's nearly 2-month-old eatery offers shave ice, sandwiches, coffee and smoothies, and it relies heavily on foot traffic and passing motorists.
Front Street sewer line projects: Two sewer line projects are planned for the Front Street area from May 7 to June 19. The work will be disrupting traffic in the area with road closures and night work.
"They usually drive by and park, then come in. If they can't drive by, it really, really hurts our business," Barberi said.
At nearby Atomic Tattoo, employees hope the construction will not hurt business.
"We'll just have to see what happens. We're still going to be open for sure," said tattoo artist Leilani Lynne Hasbrook. "We can't close down because of the construction. We are hoping it doesn't affect us too much."
The $1.2 million project will replace aging sewer lines and meet wastewater handling standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, county officials said. The work will be managed to minimize traffic impacts, with some work scheduled at night. Also, the project is being started in May, when students and teachers at nearby King Kamehameha III Elementary School will begin their summer break.
The county Department of Environmental Management will start work on the first of two sewer line replacement projects May 7 in a primarily residential area along Front Street near Kauaula Road. It is expected to last until May 28. During that time, construction crews will close both lanes of Front Street from Kauaula Road to Aholo Road from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Residential traffic will be allowed through the area.
The second project will begin May 29 and start at the intersection of Front and Prison streets. Because of heavy traffic in the area, workers will work at night only, beginning at 8 p.m. and wrapping up at 6 a.m., through June 19.
Crews also will close a portion of Prison Street from Front to Luakini streets for daytime work. Closures there will be from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. from June 7 through 19.
Water service should not be affected during the project, officials said. But sewer service will be affected during working hours in areas near work crews. The work and road closures will be done Mondays through Fridays.
Residents have been notified about nighttime noise from construction, officials said.
Donna Soares, general manager of The Wharf Cinema Center, one of the larger businesses along Front Street, said that although work will not be done in the center's immediate vicinity, "there is always some inconvenience."
"However, this is work that needs to be done, and we do feel that the county Department of Environmental Management selected the most appropriate time frame with school being out and the first part of June (which is) notoriously slow."
She said she's confident the county will be able to minimize disruptions to businesses and residents.
"We will monitor the situation as it progresses and try to keep not only our tenants advised of the situation but our suppliers and vendors as well," Soares said.
For more information, contact project contractor Goodfellow Bros. at 879-5205.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.