MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A major makeover is in the works for the Manoa Stream near Woodlawn Bridge.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources' chief engineer said the concrete under the bridge is shaped like a fish bowl, which often causes sediment buildup, contributing to major flooding in past rain events.
In 2004, the area was ravaged by rains which led to major flash flooding and damage to Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Officials said the purpose of $2.5 million project is to replace a portion of the concrete with a drop structure, allowing water to flow more freely downstream.
"A drop structure basically is a structure that changes the hydraulics, or the flow characteristics of the water under the bridge. What this does is that it improves and facilitates the sediment from collecting under there," said DLNR Chief Engineer Carty Chang.
Chang said they hope to begin as early as next week and the project is estimated to last a total of nine months weather permitting.
Some Manoa residents said the project is long overdue.
"Probably would have been better to have it done earlier but luckily we haven't had a big storm like that one. But we have had a lot of rainfall and would have been really too bad to have a repetition where it was washing cars into the stream back in 2004," Jim Harwood said.
Chang said the delay was due to waiting on funding and permits and the fact that it is a multi-jurisdictional project involving the county and the University of Hawaii. He said the $2.5 million dollars was secured through the state legislature.
Chang said the work won't be enough to prevent flooding in the future, but it's the first step.
The contractor for the project said parking along Woodlawn Drive won't be impacted but they are planning to contra flow, which could have an impact on traffic.