HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department of Transportation said they will open one town-bound lane of Likelike Highway from 4:30 to 9:30 a.m. for the upcoming work week as crews continue emergency repairs to the Wilson Tunnel.
Get Hawaii’s latest morning news delivered to your inbox, sign up for News 2 You
The town-bound side was closed on Thursday after crews found two dozen fractured ceiling rods in Wilson Tunnel during a routine inspection.
The stainless steel rods support the tunnel’s ceiling and were inspected over the weekend by crews.
“They started the repairs in those 25 locations, so really good prep work that’s necessary for the installation is almost done for most of the locations,” explained DOT Director Ed Sniffen. “We’re just waiting on the equipment to come through now and we’re expecting to get the equipment some of the 10 to 15 rods by tomorrow and the rest of the 25 by midweek.”
He said drivers should anticipate traffic on Likelike Highway and can use Pali or H3 as alternate routes.
“I’m just asking the public to please be patient when they go into the area and understand there are going to be delays,” Sniffen said. “Also, please slow down. We dropped the speed limit to 25 miles per hour to ensure that people don’t hit the barricades through that area.”
State officials said they expect to finish replacing the 25 rods by Monday, Nov. 20 and all lanes will reopen then.
Sniffen said out of an abundance of caution, the state will replace another 70 to 100 locations starting in about six weeks when more equipment arrives.
“Just to make sure that throughout the tunnel we have supports in case any of the rods corrode during that time. So it gives us that that assurance that we won’t have any safety issues or potentially shutdown issues with the tunnel while we’re waiting for the long term project,” Sniffen said.
The long term project to replace all 700 rods in the tunnel is slated to begin in 2025.