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HDOT News Release: Pali Highway repairs in the Honolulu bound direction to be completed in August

Posted on Mar 7, 2019 in Latest Department News

Weekday morning and afternoon access to continue

HONOLULU – As repairs continue to Oahu’s Pali Highway the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) provides the following update on the status of the repairs; the strategy and timetable for rockfall mitigation and other roadwork along this route; and the continued schedule for highway access.

Current repair status

Contractors continue working seven days a week, 12 hours a day on the repairs from the February 18, 2019 rockfall and mudslide. Current work includes stabilization of the slopes above Pali Highway between the tunnels and removal of the debris. The mudslide area outside of the Kailua/Kaneohe bound tunnels has been scoured to remove loose material, covered with erosion control matting and will be mulched to reduce further mudslide risk.

HDOT crews have placed message boards to warn motorists of the lights out in the tunnels and replaced reflectors and edge lines through the tunnels. A light stand was also placed to increase visibility at the first crossover for motorists using the AM Contraflow. Drivers are asked to continue to use caution as the tunnel lights will be out until the slope is stabilized enough to allow work on the electrical conduits and boxes near the tunnels.

Rockfall mitigation

The design concept to address the rockfall risk on Pali Highway between the tunnels is twofold. First, crews will install an attenuator system between Old Pali Road and the highway to serve as a catchment for material falling from the slope above. Second, a new tunnel structure will be constructed before the existing Honolulu bound tunnel entrance to protect motorists and the highway should rocks or other material make it past the attenuator system. HDOT anticipates completion of these protection measures in August 2019, weather permitting. While this work is ongoing HDOT urges the public to avoid trails in the area, such as the Likeke Falls Hike between the Pali Lookout and the Koolau Golf Course.

Additional slope stabilization outside the Kailua/Kaneohe bound tunnel will be performed; however, is not as urgent as the work to protect the road between the Honolulu bound tunnels.

While rockfall mitigation work is underway and the highway is closed, crews will work to complete the paving on the Honolulu bound lanes of Pali Highway between Kamehameha Highway (Castle Junction) and Waokanaka Street. This work was being addressed through our Pali Highway resurfacing and improvements project, which began December 2017. More information on this project can be found at

Schedule for access to Pali Highway between Castle Junction and Waokanaka Street

Access to Pali Highway will continue on the established schedule through the month of March. The schedule remains:

  • Honolulu bound morning contraflow

Two lanes of Honolulu bound traffic are available Monday through Friday between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.

  • Kailua/Kaneohe bound lanes open for evening commute

Access to the Kailua/Kaneohe bound lanes of Pali Highway are available Monday through Friday between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Once the most urgent slope stabilization and debris removal is completed, a weekend access schedule will be implemented. Extension of the evening hours is not possible as crews will be using both sides of the road to facilitate repairs.

HDOT appreciates the traveling public’s patience and kokua for this critical Koolau route, which sees an average 50,000 trips daily. The completion of the rockfall mitigation work and Honolulu bound paving in August will result in a more resilient and safer route for the Windward community.