Tantalus Landslide Mitigation to Start in Fall

Sally Moses, Tantalus resident
Sally Moses, Tantalus resident

TANTALUS (KHNL) - Local government is moving one step closer to fixing a major road in Tantalus.

Friday the state began reviewing bids to fix Round Top Drive. Parts of that road were wiped out in March after heavy rains triggered mudslides, and sent the mountain tumbling on homes like Sally Moses'.

"We're trying to keep our chin up and think of the blessing we have that nobody got hurt," says Moses.

A geologist for the state analyzed the hill Friday.  Crews began cleaning the road last week, and will work through August. Then the city will repair four sections of roadway during September and October. Some residents are relieved. The road closures have funneled traffic onto their formerly quiet streets.

"We'll be very happy because there is so much traffic coming up here," sighed Ruth Lim.

But those who live downhill, like Moses, want the state to stabilize the hill first. "We live on a mountain of cinder. Even vibrations can bring sand falling down."

She's also concerned about the timeframe for the repairs.

"That brings us into the rainy season. If the rains come we could lose more ground, because as the gaping hole in the mountain remains the same, even with the dry weather it's caving in at the banks. So the mountain side is continually changing."

The state says it's racing against the clock to do it before the next rainy season starts. It says it can't guarantee it'll be done this fall, but it says it's trying to get it done fast, and done right.

After the city has completed its roadway repair of Round Top Drive, the state will return to work on stabilizing the slope more. They warn, that may also require some temporary roadway closures.