There are big plans to prevent a major flooding incident in Waikiki through the Ala Wai Flood Risk Management Project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Members of the City, DLNR and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gathered to answer questions and concerns from the community on the project.
The project was created to prepare for the one percent chance of a major flood event in Waikiki, which is projected to cause upward of $1.14 billion dollars in damage.
“One percent doesn’t sound like a lot, and it’s one percent every year. But clearly we’ve been experiencing these events a lot more, as I’ve mentioned the floods in 2004 and 2006, and we need to be prepared,” said Robert Kroning with the City and County Department of Design and Construction.
The project is set to encompass the entire Ala Wai Watershed area, including Makiki Valley, Manoa Valley, and Palolo Valley.
The plan is to install six debris/detention basins, one debris catchment structure, three multi-purpose detention basins across the three valleys and flood walls along the Ala Wai Canal.
After the Feasibility Study, 37 properties were identified that would be impacted across the Ala Wai Watershed.
Some would be used for construction, but others need to be completely acquired to finish the project.
This includes resident Dave Watase’s property, who believes the community should have been more involved in the process from the beginning.
“You know one reason why we have so many people out here is because nobody here knows what’s going on, and the process from the very beginning was supposed to include the pubic. I think if they had done it that way, according to their public involvement plan, we’d have actually been cheering for the project right now,” said Dave Watase, who owns a Palolo property.
Currently the project has received funding from Congress and is taking steps toward beginning construction.
Note: The original copy of this story refferred to the City and County of Honolulu as spearheading the project. This has been changed to refelct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.