Storm-triggered landslides create traffic headaches along Pali Hwy.


For a second day, mounds of dirt came crashing down onto Pali Highway — the aftermath of Sunday’s torrential downpours that’s still causing headaches for drivers.

Crews responded to landslides in both directions of the highway Tuesday.

The state Department of Transportation says the landslide in the Kailua-bound lanes was minor, but crews noticed something else during the cleanup.

“When the land gave way, it exposed another little rock or boulder and they want to make sure that’s removed as well,” said department spokesman Tim Sakahara.

But the process of removing that boulder caused a big traffic backup. Drivers heading toward Kailua were at a standstill at 2 p.m. The DOT decided to delay work until after the Wednesday morning commute in order to avoid another traffic nightmare.

Near Waokanaka Street, a portion of the Pali town-bound was down to one lane while crews continued to clean a landslide from the day before. The hillside collapsed, sending trees, mud, even boulders onto the roadway.

“It’s several truckloads (of dirt), so it looks like they won’t be able to finish that one up until tomorrow,” Sakahara said.

On Monday, a man was hospitalized after he drove into a boulder on the highway.

The DOT says as always, driver safety is a top concern during these landslide cleanups.

“Before crews leave, they’ll make sure that it is indeed safe,” Sakahara said. “If there’s anything else they feel they need to remove before they leave, they’ll certainly assess that and take the appropriate action.”

pali highway landslide traffic

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