Both lanes of Alii Drive open in Kailua Village after sinkhole repair

  • The new concrete gravity wall that rests on the underlying bedrock will be able to withstand future high surf events drive on Alii Drive, according to the Hawaii County Department of Public Works. Both lanes of Alii Drive have reopened fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace following a lengthy closure to repair a sinkhole that developed late last year. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

  • Vehicles drive on Alii Drive fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace on Monday. Both lanes of Alii Drive have reopened fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace following a lengthy closure to repair a sinkhole that developed late last year. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

  • Vehicles drive on Alii Drive fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace on Monday. Both lanes of Alii Drive have reopened fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace following a lengthy closure to repair a sinkhole that developed late last year. (Chelsea Jensen/West Hawaii Today)

Both lanes of Alii Drive have reopened fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace following a lengthy closure to repair a sinkhole that developed late last year.

Isemoto Contracting Ltd. crews had been working since late January to repair damage caused by years of erosion that undermined the seawall exposed to Oneo Bay, ultimately causing a portion of the makai shoulder to sink and the wall to buckle in late December 2019.

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The county initially anticipated the project would take about a month to complete, cautioning, however, that the timeline was fluid due to uncertainties heading into the work. After getting into the work, crews learned the original rock wall was built directly on the sand and not constructed on a solid base. In addition, the rock wall was “poorly constructed” and “not very thick.”

“The new concrete gravity wall rests on the underlying bedrock and will be able to withstand future high surf events,” Department of Public Works Spokeswoman Denise Laitinen said in March, adding Isemoto’s work is a permanent repair to the wall.

During the work, Alii Drive fronting Coconut Grove Marketplace was restricted to one lane 24/7 with a temporary signal installed to facilitate traffic flow during the work.

In addition, the makai shoulder of the road was closed to pedestrians. Much of the shoulder was reopened Monday with the exception of areas on either end of the project.

More work is needed along the area as an additional “small sinkhole” was discovered when crews were repaving the makai side of the road prior to reopening both lanes.

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“This additional sinkhole will require the moving of utility lines and additional concrete work, which will commence at a later date and time once repair logistics have been finalized,” an update from the Department of Public Works reads.

In early March, Laitinen said approximately $300,000 had been expended for the repairs under an emergency contract with Isemoto. An updated figure was not provided as of press-time Monday.

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