Roadway at Alelele Point in East Maui reopens after emergency rock removal work
The County of Maui’s roadway along rural Alelele Point in East Maui was reopened Tuesday, after the completion of infrastructure reinstallation that followed emergency slope scaling and rock debris removal.
“The road closure has had a significant impact on the lives of residents in the East Maui and Kaupō areas who have used the road for daily travel between theserural areas for work, home, animals and family caretaking duties,” said Mayor Richard Bissen. “We appreciate their patience and resilience as our contractor completed the necessary work. We are also very grateful for the diligence and hard work of our Public Works staff and the crew members of contractor Prometheus Construction who worked seven days a week to enable a reopening that could occur as soon as safely possible. I’m pleased the work is done, the area is in a better stabilized condition, and we can return access to our residents.”
The reopening had been delayed by Tropical Storm Calvin last week and postponed material deliveries before Hawaiian Telcom completed the infrastructure reinstallation.
The narrow, remote roadway connecting the rural communities of Kīpahulu and Kaupō was closed in May due to safety issues in the wake of rockfall that obstructed the road and created hazardous conditions.
In June, more than 120 residents attended community meetings led by Mayor Bissen and Public Works Director Jordan Molina in Kīpahulu, Hāna and Kaupō to inform residents of the conditions and work planned.
Emergency slope scaling and rock debris removal by contractor Prometheus Construction Inc. started July 11, with crews removing about 2,300 tons of material – 800 tons more than initial projections. Crew members rappelled to remove loose boulders and other material along the slope, which extends nearly 300 feet high. Some boulders were up to 10 feet in diameter and weighed up to 22 tons.
As conditions permitted, residents received limited access starting July 11 during non-construction work hours.