Round Top to get fast attention
Officials say it could take six months to open the road closed by flood damage
City and state officials promised quick and permanent fixes to major problems on Round Top Drive and in Maunalaha Valley after six weeks of heavy rain caused major mudslides and damage to roadways.
The city will repair Round Top Drive, but it might not reopen for six months, a city official told a group of about 50 residents of Round Top and Maunalaha Valley.
COSTLY FLOOD REPAIRS
Government will spend about $7 million to fix damage caused by heavy rain at Round Top Drive, Maunalaha and Tantalus:
» Planning and design: $1 million
» Construction: $4.5 million
» Contingency: $1.5 million
Source: State Department of Land and Natural Resources Engineering Division
Eugene Lee, city Department of Design and Construction deputy director, said it could cost $1 million to restore the stability of the ground, repair the roadway and replace guardrails. But a long-term solution might cost upward of $10 million, he said.
On March 24, thundershowers caused a huge mudslide on Round Top Drive, forcing the closure of the roadway, the fourth in as many days. A week later, on March 31, a severe landslide brought down mud and black sand that covered the roadway more than 3 feet deep.
About 30 Maunalaha Road residents evacuated their homes after heavy rain brought down a 200-foot slope, with mud covering their properties and roadway.
State Sen. Carol Fukunaga said it is "scary for legislators" because the costs might total $20 million just for the Round Top/Maunalaha Valley area, when the state is looking at many other flood-devastated areas.
Many residents said too many commercial tour buses and limousines use Tantalus Drive, which is their only way to and from home.
State officials said the roadway is unsafe.
"It's going to give way, and there are people living down below," said Bob Masuda, deputy director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.
Maunalaha Valley residents asked what plans were being made to take care of Maunalaha Road. "That's our only way in and out," said Sally Moses, whose house was inundated by a mudslide.
William Kaaiai, whose driveway was wiped out by floodwaters, said engineers who surveyed the area told residents that the state's initial plans to run water into Maunalaha Stream will not work.
"Maunalaha Stream is too small," he said. He said Makiki Stream was a better alternative, according to the engineers.
Another Maunalaha resident, Leinaala Lopes, said residents are nervous because the road is still settling and they must pass by a dangerous part of the roadway separated only by "yellow danger tape." She brought a drawing to show an alternate proposed route for the drainage and a retaining wall not just against the mountain, but on the Maunalaha Stream side of Round Top.
The state Department of Land and Natural Resources is seeking a $7 million emergency appropriation request for Round Top Drive, Maunalaha and Tantalus to:
» Clear Maunalaha Stream of debris and sediment.
» Repair culverts, driveways and remove debris and sediment throughout the subdivision.
» Stabilize soil on eroded slope below Round Top Drive.
» Provide a cutoff ditch and maintenance roadway in forest reserve lands above Round Top Drive.
» Provide drainage system improvements along Round Top Drive.
» Build a 6- to 12-foot-high slope containment wall along Round Top.