The final stage of work to remove rockfall hazards along the exterior and interior slopes of the iconic Diamond Head State Monument will begin Sept. 18.
This phase will focus on the summit hiking trail, and is expected to be completed by early December 2017.
Prometheus Construction was contracted by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to mitigate rockfall hazards on Diamond Head. This third phase will stabilize summit trail slopes and involves rock scaling, placement of anchors, and constructing erosion-resistant surfaces.
Partial closures of the summit trail will be necessary for safety during this project:
- Starting Monday, Sept. 18, the summit trail will be closed every weekday afternoon, beginning at noon, Monday through Friday. All hikers must be off the summit trail by 2 p.m.
- The summit trail will be open on weekends and state holidays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Later in the fall, full-day closures will be required to complete work along trail slopes. DLNR will announce and post full-day closures when determined.
It’s anticipated that the “crater park” inside the crater floor (the parking lot, restroom, and visitor center and gift shop and lunch wagon) will remain open during most of the work.
“The soft, crumbly rock (volcanic tuff) that makes up Diamond Head, makes this landmark susceptible to deterioration due to the natural effects of erosion, as well as the numbers of people utilizing the trail. This slope stabilization work will ensure a safe hiking experience for park visitors,” said Curt Cottrell, State Parks administrator.
A first phase of work on the exterior ocean side of Diamond Head crater took place in late spring, above the area where Beach Road meets Diamond Head, over a total distance of less than 200 yards. Rock scaling work was done to retain the natural appearance of the slope while reducing the hazards.
In mid-April, a second phase of work was completed to remove rockfall hazards above the Kahala Tunnel entrance, while keeping the natural appearance of the slope. Most of this work was done in the evenings, after the crater was closed.
The total project cost is $1.72 million.