Months after large sinkhole opened in Kailua, there’s still no timeline for repairs

Still no timeframe for repair work months after massive sinkhole opened in Kailua

KAILUA, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - It’s been months since a massive sinkhole developed in the Keolu Hills area of Kailua, and officials admit they don’t know how much longer it will take them to reopen the roadway.

What residents first noticed as a dip in the road along Kanapuu Drive opened up into a giant sinkhole within a matter of 30 minutes last fall, but the work to repair the damage it has caused will take much longer. Right now, project officials say there is no set time frame for when they’ll be finished.

The sinkhole — which developed on the shoulder of the road near a metal barrier last October in the Kailua Bluffs area after several days of heavy rainfall — is about 15 feet wide and 15 feet deep.

A portion of Kanapuu Drive near the Kahako Street intersection remains closed, as well as an adjacent sidewalk — severely limiting access to two homes, but impacting the ability for dozens of other residents to get in and out of the neighborhood.

Robert Kroning, director of the city’s Department of Design and Construction, said it was caused by a collapse in a 12-foot diameter, corrugated, metal pipe. Kroning says the city doesn’t know how the collapse happened, but it was likely caused by many years or decades of slow corrosion.

Fortunately, residents living near the closed off area of Kanapuu Drive have another outlet to enter and exit the neighborhood using Kalanianaole Highway.

But homeowners in the immediate vicinity of the sinkhole say long construction hours and loud construction noises are taking its toll after months of repairs with no end in sight.

At least one property owner has reported that the foundation of his house has sunk by one foot since the sinkhole formed and repair work began.

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