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.