Residents calls for emergency repairs to crumbling Hauula highway

Updated: Jul. 31, 2017 at 6:09 PM HST
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(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HAUULA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's the only road that connects the many communities of Windward Oahu. For people living in Hauula, erosion along a short stretch of Kamehameha Highway has been a concern for nearly a decade.

"I thought it was an emergency two-and-a-half years ago," said Kanoe Reece.

That's when the cement blocks outside the nearby Kim Taylor Reece Gallery began toppling into the ocean. Reece says she snapped photos and sent them to the Department of Transportation.

Since then, aside from putting up safety barricades, Reece says that not much has been done to fix the problem.

"They said 'thanks for the email, we'll keep an eye on it,'" Reece said.

In the meantime, waves have continued to eat away at the highway, carving craters into the shoulder lane. In January, Sean Pastor says he sprained his ankle while walking home from the beach.

"There was a hole without one of those cones in it, and I fell in," said Pastor.

Since his injury, Pastor says the hole has more than quadrupled in size.

"This is a very dangerous situation. The dirt and rocks are coming out from underneath the shoulder, with just black asphalt on top," said Hau'ula resident Derrick Pressley.

Transportation engineering expert Panos Prevedouros says that with the amount of erosion that's already occurred, the Department of Transportation should schedule emergency repairs.

"This is a site that needs immediate work right now," he said. "The holes are too close to the travel lane. At this point, they need to do some inspection with wave technology to find out if there are any cavities under the road."

Hawaii News Now asked the Department of Transportation when the last time this portion of road was inspected, as well as if any repairs are presently scheduled. Neither question was answered.

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