Town-bound lanes of Likelike Highway to remain closed as crews assess damage in tunnel
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu-bound lanes of the Likelike Highway at the Wilson Tunnel remain shut down Friday for emergency repairs.
The state Department of Transportation said a routine inspection on Thursday found some of the tunnel’s ceiling rods were damaged.
During a press conference on Friday, DOT Director Ed Sniffen said a total of 25 ceiling rods will need to be replaced before lanes can be fully reopened.
“We shut it down out of an abundance of caution,” Sniffen said. “We found in our normal inspections, 10 rods that hold up the concrete plenum above the tunnel to be broken and fractured. There’s about 350 rods throughout the tunnel that support that tunnel area, but 10 rods are of concern. We shut it down to ensure we don’t have any safety issues at this time.”
Sniffen anticipated the tunnel to be completely shut down for the next two days.
Before the Monday morning commute, crews plan to open up one lane through the tunnel until repairs are complete.
“After those repairs are done, we’ll open up fully again to the public until we have another 100 rods brought in to the state so we can preemptively add supports to the system to ensure that we don’t have this issue again,” Sniffen said.
Repairing the 125 rods will cost between $1 million to $1.5 million, Sniffen said.
The DOT will then embark on a full repair project — with a contractor to start work in early 2025 — to make sure crews can repair all 700 rods on both sides of the tunnel. The project will cost an estimated $45 to $50 million.
Both lanes of Likelike Highway remain closed from the H-3 Freeway split through the Wilson Tunnel.
DOT urges drivers to take the H-3 Freeway or Pali Highway as alternate routes.
This story will be updated when more information is made available.
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