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Pali Highway to shut down this weekend

By Gene Park

LAST UPDATED: 1:46 p.m. HST, Mar 8, 2011

Pali Highway will be closed this weekend as state Department of Transportation crews work to shore up the hillside near the Pali Tunnels following a rockslide last week. 

The state has been clearing out a rock overhang at cliffs near the Tunnels since a Feb. 28 landslide, and announced this morning the highway would be shut down from 8 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Monday. 

The Kailua-bound lanes will then be closed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., but state transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said the work will likely be completed before next Friday. 

"A thousand apologies from the Department of Transportation," Meisenzahl said. "This is not something we would do unless we really thought this was necessary to do."

He said a land slide is not imminent, but that crews wanted to get the work completed as soon as possible. 

This morning, water drizzled down the cliff like sweat, and the soil severeal dozen feet up was soft and damp. 

A day after the Feb. 28 slide, crews removed about 22 dump truck loads of debris, including boulders as large as 6 feet in diameter.

The landslide happened on the Kailua side of the tunnels, just before the hairpin turn. There were no injuries or damage to vehicles.

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