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U.S. Senate approves more than $200M for Ala Wai Canal improvements

  • BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Federal funding will help improve the Ala Wai Canal and watershed to reduce flood risks in the area. In August, the canal was filled with brown water from runoff in the streams that feed it.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said he voted today to pass legislation that includes more than $212 million in federal funding to improve the Ala Wai Canal and watershed to reduce flood risks in the area.

The federal funding would go towards implementing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to upgrade the canal and watershed, which it says are necessary to prevent catastrophic flooding in the event of a storm.

The plan calls for an improved flood warning system and the construction of six, in-stream debris and detention basins in the upper reaches of Makiki, Manoa and Palolo streams as well as a standalone debris catchment feature. It also calls for the creation of 4-foot tall, concrete flood walls along one or both sides of approximately 1.9 miles of the Ala Wai Canal, with pump stations.

“This major investment will make sure the Army Corps has the funding it needs to strengthen the canal and protect residents against flooding,” said Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in a news release.

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