Post-Landslide Pali Highway Driving Will Get a Little Easier in August 2019
If you need to go to O‘ahu’s Windward Side, save this commute schedule.
PHOTOS: COURTESY OF STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
The Pali Highway will remain open a little longer six days of each week beginning Thursday, Aug. 1. The state Department of Transportation will expand access hours to the post-rockslide construction zone—but not on Saturdays and state holidays, when it will remain closed.
Beginning, Aug. 1, the Sunday through Friday schedule is:
Morning contraflow Honolulu-bound will expand 2.5 hours from: 5 to 11:30 a.m., instead of ending at 9 a.m.
Afternoon Kailua/Kāne‘ohe-bound access will start 2.5 hours earlier: from 12:30 to 7 p.m., rather than beginning at 3 p.m.
The next change is expected in a month: Sept. 1,when hours will expand for traffic in both directions Sunday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. But officials warn that night work will continue through November and commuters should expect occasional single-lane closures to continue as needed to complete the slope work as well as the Pali Highway improvements.
On, Feb. 18, a rockfall and mudslide closed the busy commuter corridor after heavy rains. The state estimated that emergency work would cost about $20 million. State transportation crews were already working on unrelated projects on the Pali Highway before the emergency work. By March, crews had cleared away debris but evaluated the risk for future problems and opted to address the rockfall risk with new work.
Drivers make 50,000 trans-Ko‘olau trips over the Pali on an average day without construction, officials say.
Crews have been installing a barrier between Old Pali Road and the highway to prevent rocks and dirt falling from the slope above to the highway below. Plus, an extended tunnel structure has been taking shape, with construction of columns visible to commuters traveling past the Honolulu-bound tunnel entrance. That structure is designed to be a second level of protection should rocks make it past the first barrier.
Since June 9, the state has allowed extended Sunday hours: Honolulu-bound contraflow between 6 to 11:30 a.m. and Kailua/Kāne‘ohe-bound 12:30 to 6 p.m.
Find a list of upcoming roadwork on state roadways on the department website at hidot.hawaii.gov