To reduce costs, Ala Wai Canal flood prevention project to be reassessed yet again

Drivers in Waikiki may experience traffic because the makai lane of Ala Wai Blvd. will be...
Drivers in Waikiki may experience traffic because the makai lane of Ala Wai Blvd. will be closed for HECO construction Friday. (Image: Hawaii News Now)(Hawaii News Now)
Published: May. 13, 2021 at 10:01 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The US Army Corps of Engineers proposed a general reevaluation of the Ala Wai Canal Flood Risk Management project in order to reduce costs.

The plan to protect Waikiki from severe flooding has gone through numerous revisions.

Honolulu District commander and engineer, Lt. Col. Eric Marshall, said that although the current design met quality expectations, the revised plan would exceed current authorization.

“A general reevaluation would provide an opportunity to reevaluate proposed alternative flood risk management measures to ensure we are being responsible stewards of our nation’s infrastructure by finding a solution that is more acceptable to federal, state and local partners,” he said.

City officials said that flood prevention for the Ala Wai canal is necessary.

“Ala Wai isn’t an option, it is a must do,” said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi.

“On a smaller scale, we experience the impacts of flash flooding on a more regular basis. A project with different scope could provide much needed risk reduction in the community.”

This proposal comes after cost estimates doubled earlier this year from $345 million to more than $650 million.

Officials said the new study will be federally funded and will not add to the current cost.

A timeline has not been provided for the new study.

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