HDOT News Release: Update on Pali Highway landslides, 9 PM Feb. 19

Posted on Feb 19, 2019 in Latest News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) provides the following update on the status of Pali Highway between the tunnels following multiple landslides on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019.

An assessment late Tuesday, Feb. 19, indicates a portion of Old Pali Road above Pali Highway is shifting and poses additional risk to the highway. Old Pali Road was damaged by the large rockslide originating from the slopes above the road that ended up closing the highway. All access to Pali Highway between the tunnels is suspended until the damaged part of Old Pali Road is secured. A previous news release reported that emergency responders would be escorted through the closure area.

Before we can clear the debris from the highway, HDOT must stabilize the rock slopes and remove the debris from Old Pali Road. Geotechnical assessments of the slope above Old Pali Road will continue early Wednesday, Feb. 20. These assessments will inform the extent of the work necessary to stabilize the upper slopes and estimated timeline for clearing the debris from Old Pali Road.

Observations indicate that the damaged portion of Old Pali Road has already shifted 18-inches towards the highway. There is a potential that the roadway and additional debris may fall on the highway before we can start debris clearance.

As such, the road will remain closed to all, including emergency responders, until further notice. HDOT is still working towards temporarily opening the Kailua bound Pali Highway between 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.; however, this will not be possible until the debris and damaged portions of Old Pali Road are stabilized and/or removed.

Motorists are encouraged to use the H-3 Freeway, Likelike Highway and Kalanianaole Highway as alternate routes; and to check GoAkamai.org or traffic apps such as Google and Waze for traffic conditions before getting behind the wheel. Maintenance closures previously scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 20 and Thursday, Feb. 21 on the H-3 Freeway have been canceled in consideration of the traffic detour.

A previous news release detailing the landslide and initial assessments can be found here.

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Shelly Kunishige

Hawaii Department of Transportation

(808) 587-2160

Shelly.y.kunishige@hawaii.gov