Residents fear their homes are in danger after giant sinkhole opens in Kailua


The city said a 12-foot drainage pipe collapsed beneath the sinkhole on Kanapuu Street in the Keolu Hills area of Kailua. They’re not sure exactly what caused it but said weather could be a factor.

“It’s probably over many, many years, if not decades, of slow corrosion due the wetness,” explained Robert Kroning, the city director of design and construction.

The city plans to hire a contractor to do a complete investigation, assessment and fix the problem.

“We think it probably just needs to be excavated and the pipe repaired and the roadway and the sidewalk and everything else repaired.  If everything goes well, it could probably be between one and four months,” said Kroning.

But residents are worried.

Dennis Chiu’s home is about 50 feet from the collapse.

“From my balcony, I can actually see the hole. So my biggest concern is, is it going to undermine our foundation?” Chiu asked.

“Part of the problem is a lot of the run off so is going underneath and jeopardizing the road,” explained Chiu. “All the water from the Koolau’s drains into the stream back there and then it drains into the culvert. The culvert runs underneath Kanapuu Street and from there it empties into this retention area. From there it empties into Enchanted Lake.”

Residents said Tuesday morning they saw the road sagging and called 911. Not long after that they saw that the sidewalk caved in and it keeps getting worse

“There’s a lot more damage. It’s because if you look at the entire width of the road it’s actually sagging at the sidewalk where the sinkhole collapsed. Both ends of the sidewalk is actually cantilever. Yesterday half of the road, the asphalt, that was also cantilever. In fact, there was no dirt underneath. So this morning the asphalt finally collapsed,” Chiu said.

The city said they don’t think any homes are in danger due to the sinkhole.

“We’ve taken a look at the pipe away from where the sinkhole has happened. it looks like its strong, it looks like its firm that its not going to happen anywhere else along those lines,” Kroning said.

The city said they hope to get a contractor out to the site tomorrow or Friday at the latest to begin fixing the sinkhole.The plan to keep the road closed surrounding the area until it is deemed safe.

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