Work is already underway to fix the Pali thanks to the emergency declaration.
Huge unstable boulders and the broken old Pali Road. That is the obstacle facing the State.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green visited the site Saturday morning.
“It’s pretty precarious up there on the mountain. We were just up there surveying things. There’s a lot of rock fall. We saw the pile around the Pali. We have to make this safe,” said Green.
Yesterday, Green signed an emergency proclamation to help provide relief due to the damage caused by the landslides.
KHON: “What does the declaration mean?”
“(The emergency proclamation) means that we can get to work immediately so when I was out there this morning we had two of our firms already on the job,” said Green.
He said they are pursuing a minimum of $15 million. The proclamation will last for two months.
“We had Prometheus (Construction) securing the mountain, clearing out rocks, making sure they begin to put in place safety measures so that any future rocks that fall are caught. Also we’ve got Goodfellow (Bros., Inc.) so that they can begin to work on the road as soon as possible,” explained Green.
In the mean time, travel to and from the Windward side will require some patience.
“The contraflow’s been working. It’s just going to have to be tweaked to make sure it gets people in and out of town safely,” said Green.
The goal is, eventually, to implement the contraflow more often.
The Bus is also adjusting.
According to the The Bus website, service will be normal for routes 56 and 57 town-bound during the 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. contraflow hours, and Windward bound during 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. contraflow hours.
Signs are posted at The Bus stops in areas impacted by the changes.
“We know that we have to maximize transport, but we also want to fix this thing as soon as possible,” explained Green. “Bare with us. We care very deeply about the Pali side, all the guys over in Kailua, be patient. The Governor wanted (work) going this weekend that’s why we are on it Saturday and Sunday right away.”
Earlier this week, the Hawaii Department of Transportation said it could take months to fix the problem.
KHON: “Is that two months or twelve months?”
“I think it will be on the shorter side. I wouldn’t want to make any promises or commitments today. The point of being out here on the Saturday and Sunday right after is to make it as short as humanely possible,” said Green.
Green said the short term plan is to put nets up to catch any debris or rocks that may fall. Long term, the plan is to extend the town bound tunnel 20 or 30 feet to protect the Pali Highway from any future landslides. He said that project could take years to complete.