Boulder moved, Niu Valley residents allowed to return - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Boulder moved, Niu Valley residents allowed to return

Contractors prepare to move the boulder away from the ridge ledge. Photo courtesy DLNR Contractors prepare to move the boulder away from the ridge ledge. Photo courtesy DLNR
Lucille Chun Lucille Chun
Photo courtesy DLNR Photo courtesy DLNR
Contractors pose on the rock after moving it to a more stable location. Photo courtesy DLNR Contractors pose on the rock after moving it to a more stable location. Photo courtesy DLNR

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

NIU VALLEY (HawaiiNewsNow) - Residents in an East Oahu neighborhood have been given the all clear to return home after crews moved a potentially dangerous boulder to a more stable location.

According to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, residents were notified at 4:58 p.m. that they could return to their homes on Haleola Street.

Geotechnical contractors Janod Inc. were able to secure the boulder with heavy-duty straps, tarps and a ring-net mesh sling. Those were then attached to cables and several anchors that had been drilled into bedrock to hold it in place. The rock was then pulled back by an air winch and secured on a flat area nearby.

The DLNR said the rock will be broken up into more manageable pieces and bagged for future transport at a later date. The contractors will also return later to secure and break up another nearby rock outcropping, which does not pose an imminent safety risk.

The state ordered the mandatory evacuation of 28 homes along Haleola Street beneath the ridge, but three families signed a waiver and chose to stay. A member of one of those families had nothing but praise for the work.

"This project is going along very well," Lucille Chun said. "And even though we had to regroup, rethink and plan for the weekend, it's actually turning out very well. So I have nothing but admiration and support."

The rock, which measured about six and-half-feet by five feet, was estimated to weigh seven to ten tons.

DLNR chair William Aila and state Civil Defense Vice Director Ed Teixeira were among those who watched the work Sunday. Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz also visited Haleola Street to observe the work Sunday morning.

Related story, video: Niu Valley boulder removal gets underway

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