ʻĪao Valley Restoration Update
The Department of Land and Natural Resources allowed media access into ʻĪao Valley park today, March 6, to provide an update on the current restoration process.
Last week, contractors were scheduled to continue to shoot shotcrete (concrete shot out of a hose at high velocity) onto a 10-foot wall to help move along Phase 1 of the restoration project, however, due to weather, the shotcrete was postponed to today. Unfortunately, due to a mechanical issue this morning, the project has been pushed back to later this week.
The $1.8 million slope stabilization and repair project began on Feb. 13, the project was projected to take 150 days.
Crews have been working to stabilize the unstable slopes along the valley’s access road and parking area caused by a severe flood that occurred on Sept. 13, 2016.
So far, crews have created an entry place down below and have added a temporary berm to keep water out of the project area. Now, they’re in the process to spray shotcrete on the face of the wall which will stabilize the cliff so the workers can work below in safe conditions.
Larry Pacheco, Maui District Superintendent for State Parks said, “At this time, were applying the one inch coat of shotcrete to stabilize the cliff face and what that does is it allows the contractors to come in and build a rock revetment at the base. They’re going to build a 10-foot high revetment and it will run 410-feet down, and that’s the first portion of it, in about three days they should be able to cover the entire area.”
Keith Weigel, Superindedent for TJ Gomes, said that once the shotcrete is in place, workers will be down below building a 10-foot high by 20-foot wide rock berm with reinforced concrete.
Once the 10-foot rock revetment, including the stabilization of the bridge within the park is finished, Phase 1 will be complete.
The cost of Phase 2 is still pending as there are several options the State is putting into consideration.
“They’re considering several options and that’s going to be determined when we have some community outreach again,” Pacheco said. “We’ll have another meeting to show them what are options are and our administration can look at what’s going to be best for the resources, as well as for the park, for the guests and for the commercial users who come up in the area as well. The primary responsibility is the resource, so we’ll look into what’s best for that first,” he added.
He said most importantly they want the final product to look as natural as possible and also be strong enough to sustain the use up above in the parking lot.
Options that have been presented include cutting the slope back to create vegetation with grass matting and letting grass grow naturally, however, to do so would involve contouring the slope even more and losing more of the upper infrastructure and the upper parking lot.
“Other (options) would be, keep the slope (pretty much like this) and applying shotcrete with soil nails which will keep it locked in place and it will be strong enough to sustain the traffic up above,” Pacheco said. He said they were also looking into using geo webbing or netting, which allows growing vegetation on top of the wall. “The hope is to color it and make it look as natural as possible, if we can grow vegetation, that way you’re not looking at a grey concrete wall as a final product,” he said.
The DLNR and local residents would like to remind visitors and locals that the park remains closed to non-local residents and that any trespassing could delay the reopening of the park.
Local ʻĪao Valley resident Charlie Pico was at the park entrance today, reminding unauthorized personnel that the park is closed.
“Our frustration is at the top of the road where they had a digital sign saying that the park is closed, and residents only, that was fine, then they took that down maybe three weeks ago. Today there’s not one sign saying the park is closed until you reach right here, Pico said. “Everyday I want to leave I have to deal with one pile of cars, sometimes its so bad that it takes 15 minutes to get people out just so I can get out,” he added.
DLNR officials are planning for the shotcrete process to continue on Wednesday, stay tuned for more information and updates.