Tsunami Impacts Prompt Emergency Road Work on Honoapiilani

February 17, 2012, 11:42 AM HST · Updated February 19, 9:41 AM
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Emergency road work continues along the Honoapiilani Highway between Ukumehame and Papalaua Beach Parks. File photo of Ukumehame area by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Motorists who utilize the Honoapiilani Highway for their commute have likely noticed roadwork on the mauka side of the highway, in the area between Papalaua Wayside Park and Ukumehame Beach Park.

Hawaii Department of Transportation officials say the emergency road work is part of a $7 million project to address erosion issues compounded by the March 2011 tsunami.

DOT communications chief, Dan Meisenzahl, said work along the 4,000 foot stretch of roadway includes the installation of rock revetments, and a concrete retaining wall to shore up the erosion that is undermining the roadway.

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The work, he said, began in November and is slated for completion in May; and was made possible through an emergency proclamation issued by the governor.

“The idea is to make sure that there is minimal impact,” said Meisenzahl.  Plans are to widen the road so traffic flow is allowed at all times, and no contraflow or road closures are necessary.

The speed limit in the area was temporarily lowered because it is a construction zone, with work taking place during regular hours Monday through Friday.

Other state transportation projects on Maui include work in the following areas:

  • Huelo to Kolea: Single lane closures on Hana Highway (Route 360) in the westbound direction between the vicinity of Milepost 10 and Papaaea Road. Roadwork takes place Tuesday, February 21, through Friday, February 24, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily, for guardrail installation.
  • Maalaea Harbor Road: Maalaea Harbor (continuous) closure of the Maalaea Boat Harbor Road from the south Honoapiilani Highway entrance to Hauoli Road through the end of July 2012 for construction of water lines, sewer lines and a water treatment facility. Signs displaying alternate route information have been placed along Honoapiilani Highway.

***Lane closure schedules may change at any time without further notice. All projects are weather permitting.

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