Access hours, completion date extended for Pali Hwy

News

The state will be extending the contraflow hours on the Pali Highway. However, because of last week’s heavy rain, crews need to take care of some extra work and that could now take until November.

The $21-million slope stabilization project was expected to be done by the end of August. While there will be more work done, we’re told by September 1st, instead of a contraflow both directions of the highway will be open.

On Monday, crews were seen working on the biggest part of the job: the rock shed, which is a roof structure that will protect town bound drivers from rock fall. We’re told the rock shed will extend all the way to the edge of the Kailua bound tunnel and part of it will be held up by 3 concrete columns.

“If rocks come down in the future, we didn’t want them to be coming through columns so we put up a retaining wall on the mauka side,” said Dept. of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen.

At the other end of the tunnel, what’s left to add are the wire mesh and anchor plates. However before that could happen, heavy rain from last week blew out a few spikes and dislodged some of the mats.

“We cleared the slope and material and put in 6-foot anchors to ensure that’s not going to happen again,” said Sniffen.

The completion date has changed from the end of August to the end of November. We learned one of the reasons why is because the state will be adding 6-foot high impact fencing along the mountainside.

“There are two areas along the slope we need to repair to make sure, from a permanent perspective, everybody is protected using this,” said Sniffen.

Here are the new hours:
Beginning August 1, 2019, Sunday through Friday (closed on Saturday and State Holidays):
Honolulu bound AM contraflow: 5 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Kailua/Kaneohe bound PM access: 12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
After September 1-st both directions will be open from 5 in the morning until 7 at night.

Officials also tell us the renovation project for Pali Highway has been expedited because of the closure. As we saw crews working on a new curb and gutter, we learned the state was able to cut six months off from the original project timeline

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