Pali Highway will be closed in both directions for several hours on New Year’s Day for the removal of two trees on slopes above, according to state transportation officials.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation said that Pali Highway between Waokanaka Street and Kamehameha Highway will be closed from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 1, for the necessary removal of two trees with compromised root systems.
State officials discovered the trees with loosened root systems during an inspection Thursday and said the roots were compromised by high winds and rain on Christmas Day.
Those high winds and rain resulted in a late morning rockslide that closed the Kailua bound lanes of Pali Highway for most of Christmas Day after loose debris fell on the roadway near the tunnels that morning. Crews were able to clear the debris and reopen those lanes later that evening.
“While the newly added impact fencing above the tunnel portals has proven to reduce the impacts of these increasingly frequent weather events on the highway below, we are planning to remove this potential threat,” said Ed Sniffen, HDOT deputy director for highways in a news release. “I’m grateful our staff and contractors are willing to work on New Year’s Day so we can get this work done at a time when there are not a lot of people on the road.”