Rail crews continue search for ancestral bones

Scott Ishikawa, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation
Scott Ishikawa, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation

KALIHI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Rail construction is moving to more sections of town and with it come some lane closures.  Work this week is on the corner of Dillingham Boulevard and Mokauea Street in Kalihi.

They are looking for iwi kupuna or ancestral bones.  In all they'll make 232 trenches between Kalihi and Ala Moana.  Each trench is where a pillar will be for the elevated train tracks.  The pillars won't start going up until 2016 but they want to find the bones now in order to address the concerns and move the pillar location if necessary.

Crews have done about 10 percent of the work so far and haven't found any iwi kupuna yet but the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation wants to be ready when they do.

"Obviously the process is once something is found during the construction process everything comes to a halt so the objective is to do this work ahead of time before any work begins in this corridor," said Scott Ishikawa, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.  "One of the options we have is we can actually move the pillar slightly away from a sensitive area if something is found."

Work is done between 8:30 am to 3:00 pm.  There are lane closures so expect delays. They will be at this location for about a week then move up the road eventually making it through Downtown, Kakaako and Ala Moana.

"We're going to be closing lanes here and there like on Dillingham, but we're not going to be closing one spot for an extended period of time. We're going to do about a week's worth of work and then move on to the next site," said Ishikawa.

They are also doing similar work up the road on Kamehameha Highway between Middle Street Puuhale Road near Marukai Market.  Expect night work on that job from 7:30 pm to 3:00 am.

Crews are also doing soil testing on Kamehameha Highway between Pearl City and Aloha Stadium.

In Leeward Oahu on Farrington Highway will be closed in both directions between Fort Weaver Road and Old Fort Weaver Road. Traffic will be detoured for six weeks starting April 16.

For more information on rail construction traffic click here.

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