Dillingham Boulevard traffic disrupted by mud, debris left behind by Darby

Dillingham Boulevard traffic disrupted by mud, debris left behind by Darby
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

KALIHI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Machines and manpower moved mud and cleared debris that forced the closing of Dillingham Boulevard in both directions near the key intersection of Middle Street.

The mess came from Kalihi Stream.

"We're talking about tons of limbs and branches. We're also talking about a lot of rubbish, certainly a lot of water last night," State Transportation Department spokesman Tim Sakahara said.

Darby's drenching Sunday evening also swamped part of the H-1 freeway. Sections closed into the morning hours, backing up traffic and disrupting thousands of commuters drive to work.

Early into Monday afternoon, motorists trying to get onto the H-1 from Dillingham were forced to turn around. Those coming off the H1 east bound were turned away.

At 3:30 p.m. one west bound lane was opened.

"We now have some of the cleanup and it's well in hand. We'll be back to full business in a day or two even in places like this," Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.

To compensate for the closure, city buses that normally use Dillingham were re-routed to Nimitz Highway and King Street.

"I can't recall that we ever had this particular area of Kalihi Stream flooded to where Dillingham was closed. We've come close but I can't remember that we've ever had one this disruptive," Oahu Transit Services president Roger Morton said.

The muddy mess blanketed the Handi-Van parking lot on Middle Street, delaying pickups and damaging 17 vans.

"It got into the engine area where the external lifts are to raise the wheelchairs onto the vans. So some of those were shorted out and had to be re-wired," said Paratransit Services vice president Charlotte Townsend.

The state and city worked together to clean up Dillingham.

"We have active scenes not only here at Kalihi and Middle street but also in Kalihi Valley, and we have some activity on the Windward Side as well," City Facility Maintenance Director Ross Sasamura said.

""It was all hands on deck and they all came out to try and get these highways open as fast as they can," Sakahara said.

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