MAKAPUU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The completion of a $7.8 million construction project in East Oahu has been delayed. Now drivers want some answers about when the lengthy roadwork will finally be finished. The state launched the improvement work along Kalanianaole Highway near Makapuu Beach in February 2009. The work was supposed to wrap up in December, but the project is running behind schedule.
The rocky cliffside has been a problem for quite awhile. Crews installed mesh netting to prevent boulders from falling onto the highway several years ago.
"Every now and then this road has been closed cause rocks have come down after heavy rain. It has been a danger to commuters," said Dept. of Transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl.
Now the state is tackling other areas of concern. Workers stabilized the slope and put in a barrier to catch loose rocks.
"They moved about 16,000 cubic yards of soil and rock and boulder, and you figure your average dump truck takes about 10 cubic yards, so to give you an idea, lots of truckloads of dirt," said Meisenzahl.
Crews have also built a new retaining wall along the makai side of the road. All this work has meant night-time closures of the highway between the Ka Iwi Lookout and Makapuu Beach Park since November 2009.
The road is closed Sunday through Friday nights between 9:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. this week.
"We were promised the completion of the highway from the fall, to the winter, and we have no knowledge now when it will be completed," said Waimanalo Neighborhood Board chair Wilson Ho.
Concerned residents brought up the project delays at a recent Waimanalo Neighborhood Board meeting.
"We just wanna know what is the timetable? What is the story? When will it be done?" said Ho.
The state hopes to have the work done by the end of this month. Meisenzahl said severe weather delayed the construction. Crews also ran into trouble with the retaining wall.
"As we're trying to put these anchors in, once again, you're drilling them 35 feet, every now and then they didn't quite work. There's something that had to be done or redone. So a few technical issues along the way," Meisenzahl said.
"We have a lot of community members that work in Hawaii Kai and Kahala. Lot of them, and so they're limited to when they have to come home, or come home around," said Ho.