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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 3, 2003

Rockfall project starts in Hawai'i Kai

Advertiser Staff

Construction on the first phase of a rockfall mitigation project begins today at Lalea, the East Honolulu townhome development where two boulders smashed into two parked cars on Thanksgiving and the risk of further rockfall led to the evacuation of 26 families in early December.

From left, Neil Hannahs of Kamehameha Schools, Alan Arakawa of Castle & Cooke Homes Hawaii Inc., Pamela Olmsted of AOAO Lalea, Kahu Kordell Kekoa of Kamehameha Schools, Bud Junger of Goodfellow Bros Inc. and Gary Yamamoto of Earth Tech Global Environmental Services untied the maile lei during yesterday's blessing and ground-breaking ceremony for the rockfall mitigation project at Lalea in Hawai'i Kai.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

The first phase will widen and deepen a drainage ditch that runs between the Kaluanui mountainside and Lalea buildings 7110, 7116, 7122 and 7128. The work will increase the ditch's capacity to act as a catch basin for rocks in the immediate vicinity that may become dislodged by natural geologic processes, according to Kamehameha Schools, landowner of the area above the Lalea property on the Kaluanui mountainside.

The construction firm Goodfellow Bros. Inc. was selected for the work on the first phase, which is expected to cost $400,000 to $500,000. The project is estimated to last three months.

The second phase of the project, which will entail construction of a cable-netting system above the development, has been bid to three firms for consideration. The second phase is expected to begin by the end of April and take about six months to complete.

Kamehameha Schools and the developer, Castle & Cooke Hawai'i, are paying for the project.

Following the Thanksgiving incident, geologists made their assessment of potential risks and residents in two buildings nearest the hillside were told to evacuate and to anticipate not being able to return for a year.