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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Removal of rocks reassures residents

By Rod Ohira
Advertiser Staff Writer

Ed Guieb expects by week's end to complete the move into his new Nu'uanu home on Rooke Avenue below the old Pu'unui quarry.

State action toward mitigating the threat of falling boulders has Guieb feeling comfortable about the move.

"I know the neighborhood, have hiked the slopes many, many times and know what's up there," Guieb said. "I wrote to the state before purchasing the property, they did an assessment, and I've seen the report, so I'm comfortable with the assurances."

The Department of Land and Natural Resources already has put up two fences and removed rocks, Guieb said.

Gov. Linda Lingle yesterday released an additional $5.2 million for further rockfall mitigation measures at old Pu'unui quarry, and at Komo Mai Drive to safeguard motorists in Pacific Palisades.

In Nu'uanu, $2.6 million has been budgeted to install more netting and remove rocks to stabilize state-owned land above the residential area.

The Komo Mai Drive project will add cable mesh netting to cover the hillside and prevent further soil erosion.

Osame Kobayashi, a Pacific Palisades resident since 1964, said the state put up a 6-foot-tall chainlink fence and removed hundreds of loose rocks last year.

"It's improved a lot. I see less rocks (on the road)," he said. "By putting up netting, it makes me feel more secure."

Both projects are expected to be completed by summer.

DLNR director Peter Young said a long-term solution is to not build houses or roads in areas of rockfall risk.

Reach Rod Ohira at rohira@honoluluadvertiser.com.