Emergency proclamation aimed at speeding up repairs to Pali Highway

Drone footage shows the extent of the landslide over the Pali Highway. (Image: Nick Lawson)
Drone footage shows the extent of the landslide over the Pali Highway. (Image: Nick Lawson)
Updated: Feb. 25, 2019 at 11:20 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After a full closure of the Pali Highway allowed crews to make progress to stabilize hillsides over the weekend, lanes are back open Monday for town-bound drivers for the morning commute.

But there’s still no quick fix to fully reopen the highway after last week’s damaging landslides.

State leaders say a new emergency proclamation will help to speed up the work.

On Friday, Lt. Gov. Josh Green signed the proclamation on behalf of Gov. David Ige that made state funds available to address the unstable hillside.

“He wanted us on the solution right away. It means that for the next 60 days we can expedite work and he immediately got our crews out there,” said Green.

On Saturday, Green visited the Windward side of the Pali where the work is being done and says there is still a lot to take care of.

“It was a little bit harrowing. I really give the guys credit who are out there suspending from the rock well. It’s precarious, it slid very dramatically and you are really near the edge there,” Green said.

The emergency proclamation will last for two months and sets aside $15 million to get the work done. Eventually, crews will extend the tunnel 20 to 30 feet to prevent any rocks from falling onto the roadway.

“We wanted to be working this weekend to sustain the hill to reduce the risk that anything else was going to fall and to kind of really get going.”

The contraflow system allowing Honolulu-bound traffic through during the morning commute resumes Monday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Honolulu-bound drivers in the evening will have to find an alternate route.

Windward-bound traffic will flow normally in the evenings from 3 to 7 p.m.

DOT officials are asking hikers to stay off the Likelike Falls trail until further notice.

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