Highway closure drags on, residents fear accidents imminent - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Highway closure drags on, residents fear accidents imminent

George Marantz George Marantz
Joelyn Arthur Joelyn Arthur

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

KAHALUU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Heavy rain and erosion caused a retaining wall to collapse and mud to slide onto Kamehameha Highway in Kahaluu December 27, 2010.

A week and a half later a short stretch of the highway connecting Heeia to Kahaluu is still closed in both directions. Traffic is being diverted onto Lulani Street, a narrow winding residential street above Kamehameha Highway. People who live on Lulani Street worry the additional traffic, including city buses, may result in an accident.

"In the afternoon when we have heavy traffic, it's complete chaos. And we are really concerned that there is going to be a fatality accident," said Joelyn Arthur, who lives on Lulani Street.

"It is a problem just trying to maneuver some of the bigger vehicles, but it's also a problem for some of the emergency vehicles. As I witnessed the other day, a fire truck stopped over here at the other side of the barricade because they were not up to date on this thing (Kamehameha Highway) not being completely open yet," added George Marantz, another Lulani Street resident.

The mud that slid onto Kamehameha Highway and the badly damaged rock retaining wall that threatens to tumble onto the highway belong to a home owner adjacent to the highway. The city does not have jurisdiction over the land, but has given the property owner until January 29 to repair the wall. It is possible the road will be closed until then or maybe longer if the land owner misses the city deadline.

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