Kuahea Street in Pālolo Valley reopened to all vehicular traffic on Oct. 4 as part of the City & County of Honolulu’s $24 million Kuahea Street Area Stabilization Project.
A news release issued Sept. 29 by the city’s Department of Design and Construction said “ongoing and accelerated earth movement in the area” resulted in significant damage to Kuahea Street between Kuahea Place and Helo Place, requiring closure of the roadway since September 2018.
In order to protect and support infrastructure along portions of Kuahea Street and Wai‘ōma‘o Road, the city initiated stabilization work in 2019, with the project expected to wrap by the end of this year.
“The City would like to thank the Kuahea Street / Wai‘ōma‘o Road neighborhood and surrounding Pālolo Valley community for their patience during this important project,” Department of Design and Construction Director Haku Milles said in a statement.
“We also want to thank City Councilmember Calvin Say for his support and help providing construction updates to the community and Pālolo residents.”
The area near Wai‘ōma‘o Road and Kuahea Street has a complicated history that dates back to the early 1950s, when 33 acres of land formerly used as a basalt rock quarry was transformed into a 200-home subdivision.
Landslides have occurred in the area since 1957, and the city has actively worked to address the situation since the late 1990s.
The $24 million stabilization project includes the installation of underground tieback anchors and a soldier pile wall system to mitigate earth movement.
The city will continue to monitor earth movement once work is finished, performing repairs to city infrastructure and maintaining vegetation growth in the area as needed.
AECOM and Geolabs Inc. served as civil and geotechnical consultants, respectively.
The design-build scope of the project was managed by Schnabel Foundation Co., with WSP serving as design consultant. Rons Construction Corp. was hired as the project’s civil subcontractor.