Rockslide inspection and mitigation underway near Punchbowl

Project map provided by the City & County of Honolulu

Prospect Street in Punchbowl is a favorite for drivers who take advantage of street parking.

But come Monday, it’s off limits because of priority rockfall protection project by the city.

Crews will set up a barrier and a chain or wired covering on the face of the cliff alongside Prospect Street.

Two years ago – the city listed this area is one of its priorities when it comes to protecting its property from rock falls and landslides.

The work doesn’t entirely take way all of the rock fall or landslide work by the private property itself – it only takes care of of the small portion that is the city right of way.” City Design and Construction Director Chris Takashige said.

The federal government owns the property above Prospect Street – the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific there.

And the city made sure those who park their cars are aware of the project starting soon – and wants everyone to know the focus is on two objectives.

“It’s for pedestrians that walk along the roadway and the traffic that’s moving on the roadway, not the for the parked cars. Takashige said.

“In addition to advising people not to park along this stretch of prospect street, they are telling people that there will only be a single lane for traffic, and they are advising people to take alternate routes like Iolani and Magellan Avenues.

The work will occur between 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, and the city estimates completion of the 1 million dollar project by the end of the year

University of Hawaii Geologist Steve Martel says rockfalls occur more often than we know – because many occur in isolated areas – and not just on Oahu.

“Yes, the whole state is susceptible to rock falls. The conditions that make many places susceptible to rockfalls are the steep slopes, the fractured bedrock and the large amounts of rainfall. UH geologist Steve Martel said.

“There can be a lot of interest in landslides and rockfalls right after they occur but then interest tends to dwindle – that’s a common occurrence.” Martel said.

Those who park along Prospect say they will continue to park here after the project is done.

“Anybody who parks on the street understands we have risks whether its rock falls, cars passing by because there’s not a lot of room, and theft.” Prospect St. resident James Halverson said.

“Sounds like park at your own risk. Are you okay with that? Absolutely!” Prospect St. resident Heather Boyd said.

Work will include tree removal, slope stabilization, installation of rockfall barriers, drapery system installation, decorative concrete barrier installation, tree planting and landscaping.

The project is estimated to be complete on December 14, 2014.

Photos and diagrams provided by the City & County of Honolulu

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