Honolulu police have closed off the entrance to Ala Moana Regional Park off Atkinson Drive due to a sinkhole.
“We discovered the sinkhole this morning and the depression was getting deeper and deeper,” said Nate Serota, public information officer for the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. “There’s a puka about the size of a football underneath the cone over there. The actual void underneath, we’re going to have to wait for a contractor to come and excavate to see the extent of the damage, and we’re looking like tomorrow the contractor will hopefully be here.”
It’s unclear what caused the sinkhole or how soon the road could reopen.
Curious onlookers are urged to stay as far away from the sinkhole as possible.
“We don’t know the void underneath, how big it is, and we don’t know to what extent it’s damaged, so please for your safety, avoid it,” Serota said. “Don’t be curious and looking underneath the cone or, if you’re driving, please heed the closure signs and turn around and exit through the other way.”
In July 2016, a sinkhole forced officials to close the park’s Ewa entrance, across from Kamakee Street, for 10 days.
The closure began July 19, 2016, when city park employees spotted the hole and noticed it got bigger and bigger throughout the day.
“It’s a very similar setup where there’s pipes connecting the harbor to these lagoons,” Serota said.
In that case, the city said leaking pipes underneath the pavement caused sediment to loosen, creating the hole.
The closure led to major traffic headaches for people trying to leave the park.
A contractor and city crews had to repair multiple holes in 48-inch pipes below the roadway.
The entrance was reopened on July 29, 2016, ahead of schedule.
With only one park entrance open, officials urge the public to anticipate delays and plan accordingly.