POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 1, 2011
The state plans to clear out a rock overhang at cliffs near the Pali Tunnels following a landslide that closed Kailua-bound lanes of Pali Highway on Sunday night.
Crews yesterday removed about 22 dump truck loads of debris, including boulders as large as 6 feet in diameter, early yesterday morning, said state Department of Transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl.
The landslide, reported at 4:40 p.m. Sunday, happened on the Kailua side of the tunnels, just before the hairpin turn. There were no injuries or damage to vehicles.
Crews initially kept open one Kailua-bound lane, but by 7:20 p.m. all Kailua-bound lanes from Waokanaka Street were closed. The lanes were reopened by 3:15 a.m. yesterday.
The landslide may have been caused by water seeping below the upper layers of soil and vegetation, making the cliffside unstable, Meisenzahl said.
There is still some overhang left, but state engineers do not believe it poses an immediate threat, he said.
"If our engineers thought it could come down any second, there would be an emergency order," Meisenzahl said.
State transportation officials are seeking to hire a contractor to clear out the overhang. Meisenzahl said the work is expected to be performed within a month, and that it would not take longer than two days.
Lane closures of Pali Highway may be required at the time.