State Engineers Address Three Rockfall Danger Zones - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State Engineers Address Three Rockfall Danger Zones

Chopper 8 shows work crews clearing dirt and rock debris along Diamond Head Road. Chopper 8 shows work crews clearing dirt and rock debris along Diamond Head Road.
The 2700 block of Round Top Drive is also closed due to potential mudslide danger. The 2700 block of Round Top Drive is also closed due to potential mudslide danger.
The threat of landslides has closed the Kailua-townbound lane of Kailua Road. The threat of landslides has closed the Kailua-townbound lane of Kailua Road.

HONOLULU (KHNL) - State and city officials say they are addressing three major areas of concern for potential land or rockslides on Oahu.

Road crews from the Department of Land and Natural Resources began work at the base of Diamond Head crater 7:00am Tuesday. The recent severe weather triggered a rockfall there last week.

"We are in a project now to remove some of the other material that could be at risk for falling," says Peter Young, chairman of DLNR.

The road will be closed from Diamond Head's second lookout to Kahala Avenue during the project. Work is expected to be completed in a few weeks. State officials have known for a couple years that parts of Diamond Head are vulnerable to rock slides. The recent heavy rains have made those areas unstable.

The heavy rains exposed boulders are now perched above Kailua Road. Traffic is being contra-flowed and barriers have been put up. The state is planning to remove boulders and place a net over the hillside to prevent further landslides.

"One of the engineers is looking at putting up a screen over that area in order to hold off the rocks back and clear off the bigger boulders," says Rod Haraga of the Department of Transportation.

The 2700 block of Round Top Drive will remain closed until engineers figure out what to do.

"Right now we have a variety of people evaluating the Round Top area," says Young.

There have been more than a half-dozen landslides in the area this month. City road maintenance crews hauled roughly 800 tons - of soil and debris from the road over the past month. The closure is indefinite and may last several months. With saturated ground, officials are also worried about falling trees.

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