City enters agreement for new study of Ala Wai flood prevention project
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After years of planning and setbacks in the Ala Wai Flood prevention project, a new study is about to begin.
The US Army Corps of Engineers has signed an agreement with the city to find new ways to protect Waikiki from a massive flood, all while minimizing the environmental impacts.
The 3-year study is fully funded by the federal government.
“As a community we must all recognize the severity and consequences of what will happen if we do nothing and a catastrophic storm hits our island home,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said. “This reevaluation study will follow a process that seeks input from our communities in the development of a plan that is both implementable and affordable. The end result must be achievable if we are going to reduce the risks of our island communities from future disaster.”
This comes after the previous plans were unpopular with the community, and the expected costs nearly doubled to almost $700 million.
Leaders say something needs to be done sooner rather than later.
“We are seeing the dramatic effects of climate change,” said Tommy Waters, chair and presiding officer of the Honolulu City Council. “Given our recent flooding events on O’ahu, I look forward to working with the Army Corps of Engineers to ensure that we develop a plan addressing flood mitigation efforts for our Waikīkī community and surrounding neighborhoods.”
This study aims to find a compromise at a cheaper cost. The agreement was signed on June 30 between Honolulu District Commander and District Engineer Lt. Col. Eric Marshall and Mayor Blangiardi.
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