comscore Pali Highway reopened after 50-foot fallen tree removed | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Pali Highway reopened after 50-foot fallen tree removed


    Police blocked Kailua-bound lanes of the Pali Highway near Waokanaka Street this morning after a tree fell near the tunnel.

  • GOAKAMAI.ORG A police car blocks traffic on Pali Highway near Waokanaka Street this morning.

State Department of Transportation crews finished removing a more than 50-foot tall tree around 9:15 a.m. today and re-opened all lanes of the Pali Highway, DOT spokesman Tim Sakahara said.

“All lanes are open,” Sakahara said.

Maintenance crews closed Kailua-bound lanes of the Pali Highway at the first tunnel after the tree fell around 3:30 a.m., which disrupted both town-bound and Windward-bound traffic this morning.

Police officers blocked traffic from continuing on Pali Highway at Waokanaka Street.

Sakahara did not immediately know the type of tree that fell but said it most likely was knocked down by a combination of wind and rain.

The tree did not land on the Kailua-bound lanes of the Pali but hung so precariously that crews blocked traffic and began cutting into the it, which also caused town-bound drivers to slow, Sakahara said.

“It was in a precarious spot above the tunnel entrance,” Sakahara said.

Crews had to bring in extra equipment with buckets to make sure they did not drop parts of the tree onto utility boxes and wiring above the tunnels and cause additional damage, Sakahara said.

“It’s definitely a difficult-type job, especially given the conditions there,” he said.

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  • DOT needs to cut back trees that are close to the roads. Pali and Likelike had trees falling and blocking lanes in the past month. Close the roads and drivers have to turn around or need to use other tunnel. And it’s been on both townbound and Kailua/Kaneohe bound. Why do they need trees so close to the roads anyway?

    • DOT cannot cut back or destroy vegetation that is going to create these kind of hazards. Next time you see the Outdoor Circle, Sierra Club and any anti GMO/Pesticide activists, thank them for the fallen trees in the road or utility lines knocked down. In other states, brush is not allowed to interfere with utilities or transportation, it is killed permanently.

  • It`s really only a one man job, but HPD has four cop`s,two motor cycles, and a car all – really just goofing off. Waist of man power/resources. (Our money going down the drain)

    • it’s just a snapshot. they could have been planning breaks, resupplying flares, or checking relief for the traffic posts.

      but: one traffic post at pali and waokanaka; another at pali and old pali to turn around old pali residents, another just before the tunnel entrance to protect the workers, and another at the pali lookout to block kailua bound traffic from the pali lookout which still had access from honolulu bound traffic tuning off into the pali lookout area.

      that’s at least four traffic posts just to be sure all kailua bound traffic is stopped before they get to the downed tree.

      officers do need to take breaks, flares need to be resupplied, and traffic posts need to be checked on, so additional units are always shuffling between traffic posts.

      your insistence that it’s a one man job is flawed, badly flawed.

  • Why does the state take that long to respond and cut down and remove a tree. I think the response time from the state needs to improve or be looked at. 5 hours to remove a tree. That is ridiculous.

    • not really considering the’s not a small tree..50 feet is huge and you can’t cut it down all at have to cut it in sections so it doesn’t damage the utility lines

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