City tackles rockfall hazard list

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Jun 04 2012 05:24:00 PM HST

The city is in the process of finalizing a list of hazardous rockfall sites, but work is moving forward on areas identified as "high risk."

HONOLULU -

An initial survey of areas that threaten city roads is under review.

Hidden hazards are what city consultants point to in identifying this area on Prospect Road as a high potential site for a rockslide.

The stretch of road between Pele and Madeira streets is heavily traveled and is used as spillover parking for area residents.

It’s one of the priority spots that the city is addressing now, instead of later, even though the landslide list isn’t finalized.

"Even though it is in draft form, we are already starting to tackle it as funds become available," said Lori Kahikina, city director of design and construction.

The city expects to spend about $1.7 million dollars to deal with this potential rockfall risk.

"Because it is city property we can either cut back the slope or put some netting or mesh to protect the road from potential rockslides,” said Kahakina.

The city doesn't own the entire hillside.

The federal government has title to the top portion since it is part of the National Cemetery of the Pacific.

But, Kahikina says the city will do what it can to deal with its hidden hazard.

Residents can expect to see work similar to another project on the North Shore.

The city began fencing off an area of the hillside up on Pupukea Road and has installed netting on the lower portion of the road at a cost of $1.4 million.

Phase two of the project will extend the work around the bend at a cost of another $2 million.

But, the city says permits with the state historic preservation office are holding up the project and the fear is that the funds set aside, won't get used in time.

"We are trying to line up projects. So, if Pupukea is on hold, let's get the next project in line. That's what happened to Prospect Street. We are not going to lapse the funds it is going to this project," said Kahikina.

The Prospect Street rock fall mitigation work may do away with some street parking, but the actual work is still about a year away.

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