LIHUE – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is updating on continued closures of Kuhio Highway (Route 560) on the north shore of Kauai at mile marker 1 approaching Hanalei Bridge (“Hanalei Hill”).
While removing loose materials from slope above the road, HDOT’s contractor found a large mass of unstable material. A newly discovered fissure, approximately 80-feet long and 12-feet deep, was observed on the upper portion of the slope. The loose soils and vegetation in this area cannot be stabilized in place and must be brought down before contractors can work on clearing the road and reestablishing access.
HDOT is coordinating with its contractor to remove the loose soils and material from the slope on Sunday, March 14. After the slope is cleared of loose material, and it is deemed safe to do so, work to clear the road of landslide materials will begin. To expedite roadway clearing and minimize the potential for heavy vehicle vibration to impact the upper slopes, landslide materials will be stored on the property on the Hanalei side of the road until the slopes have been stabilized and secured.
HDOT is still targeting early next week to establish single lane emergency access through the area, weather permitting. HDOT will update the time frame after the work is completed tomorrow.
HDOT will continue the closure of the road above the Hanalei Hills landslide, Kuhio Highway between Kolopua Apartments and Hanalei Plantation Road. HDOT continues to monitor for any potential movement in the road and has not observed any movement to date. Work to bring down the loose soil at the fissure discovered today is not anticipated to undermine this section of the road.
HDOT will continue to update on the status of Kuhio Highway as soon as new information becomes available.
A photo with the location of the fissure discovered today can be found here.