Crews work to reduce rockfall risk on Diamond Head slopes

Crews work to reduce rockfall risk on Diamond Head slopes
Published: Mar. 26, 2017 at 8:20 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 10, 2017 at 5:32 AM HST
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EAST HONOLULU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Drivers who use Diamond Head Road and Beach Road may experience traffic delays while crews work to remove rockfall hazards along the makai side of Diamond Head crater.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources has identified three areas where the potential rockfall hazards are the greatest near the Diamond Head State Monument.

The project will roll out in three phases and the first began this week on about 200 yards of slope above the road on the exterior ocean side of Diamond Head crater in the area where Beach Road meets Diamond Head.

Officials say rock scaling work will keep the natural appearance of the slope while reducing the rockfall hazard. Between 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the mauka lane on Diamond Head Road may be closed at intervals, with traffic control workers in place to counter flow traffic.

This first stage of the project is expected to run through Friday, April 7.

The next stage is scheduled for April 10 to 14 above the Kahala tunnel entrance to the crater.  Officials say this should have minimal impact to daytime public access into the crater since most of the work will be done after the crater closes.

The final phase will begin in the fall and will focus on the interior Diamond Head Summit trail. According to DLNR, trail closures may be necessary.

Officials estimate the total cost around $1.72 million.

This is the same area that state crews have targeted in recent weeks to remove a large homeless encampment. Officials say they plan to use drones to monitor the brush along the makai side of the Diamond Head State Monument where dozens of makeshift homes and tents had been set up.

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