Next steps for Kamehameha Highway near Waimea Bay

Posted on Feb 8, 2023 in Highways News, Main, News

HONOLULU – The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) will be taking action to protect Kamehameha Highway near Waimea Bay by extending the impact fencing between the slope and the highway.

Rock scaling and resetting of the barrier at the site of the Feb. 5 rockfall was completed late Tuesday, Feb. 7. The barrier is designed to slow down or deflect falling rocks and will remain in place until impact fence work begins. Cost of the rock scaling, debris removal, and barriers is estimated at $130,000.

Per Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 264-1.5, the Director of Transportation has declared Kamehameha Highway (Route 83) in the vicinity of Waimea Bay a traffic emergency zone. This declaration allows HDOT to expedite procurement and permitting to take action to construct improvements to protect access to the state highway. Anyone wishing to comment on the designation of Kamehameha Highway in the vicinity of Waimea Bay as a traffic emergency zone may do so through a virtual public meeting. As the meeting must be held within 24 hours of the designation, the meeting date, time, and information on how to join follows:

Thursday, Feb. 9 at 12:30 p.m.

Click here to join or call in to 1-808-829-4853 using conference pin 992 486 571#

HDOT plans to use the traffic emergency zone designation to expedite construction of 190 linear feet of 15-foot-tall impact fencing that will mitigate the health and safety risks of future rockfalls in the area. Estimated construction cost for the impact fencing is $1.2 million. The estimated timeframe for delivery of the fence is early March 2023. Construction will take place 10 hours per day, Monday through Friday, and it is estimated work will take approximately two months to complete.

The Feb. 5 rockfall occurred on a section of Kamehameha Highway that is ranked 13 for rockfall risk.

The current top 10 sites susceptible to rockfall on the state highway system are:

Statewide Ranking Highway # District Highway Name Begin MP End MP Position
1 83 Oahu Kamehameha Highway 5.4 5.52 R
2 19 Hawaii Hawaii Belt Road 21.04 21.49 L
3 19 Hawaii Hawaii Belt Road 25.77 26.06 L
4 56 Kauai Kuhio Highway 24.79 25.01 L
5 19 Hawaii Hawaii Belt Road 21.6 21.85 L
6 560 Kauai Kuhio Highway 0.66 1.17 L
7 30 Maui Honoapiilani Highway 10.33 10.44 TOP
8 61 Oahu Pali Highway 5.95 6.04 TOP
9 19 Hawaii Hawaii Belt Road 26.27 26.72 L
10 61 Oahu Pali Highway 6.12 6.55 R

Geotechnical inspection of the susceptible sites will be completed this year. For more information on rockfall and other hazards to the state highways system, see