A sinkhole in Kakaako is proving a bear to fix ― and a big headache for businesses

The impact is expected to last another six months.
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 3:10 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2022 at 4:47 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Repairs to a sinkhole at the intersection of Halekauwila and Cooke streets in Kakaako are taking a toll on residents and businesses.

The impact is expected to last another six months.

Currently, drivers can only access Cooke businesses from Ilaniwai, Queen and Kapiolani.

Having fewer entry points is cutting into Nadine Leong’s bottom line.

“It’s just a little frustrating,” said Leong, co-founder of The Sake Shop. She says customers don’t realize the store’s driveway and parking lot are open.

“People who give up and decide not to come because of the closures or because of the inconvenience. That’s where we’re losing out a lot of our revenue,” she said.

Inspections found leaking water from an existing box culvert storm drain is causing erosion beneath the roadway.

To offset the closure’s impact on businesses, the city put up signage for drivers.

But some feel it’s not enough, especially with fewer street parking spaces.

“For the customer who like to come and pick up the food they still cannot find parking because they blocked the road,” said Yuri Senckowski, owner of Pattaya Thai restaurant.

She worries she’ll have to close her outdoor dining area when repairs move up Cooke Street toward Queen Street.

“If they tear out this one, I might have more effect.” she said.

Some residents at Na Lei Hulu Kupuna senior home say they’re having problems with Handi-Van drivers.

“There’s a miscommunication as to where they’re going to pick the tenants up. We have some tenants that have medical issues that they use the Handi-Van every day to go to medical appointments,” said resident Marlene Morris. “They’ve been missing some because Handi-Van is saying that they cannot come to this road.”

The city says it will work with the community to minimize disruptions.