Round Top roadwork set to begin
The work to stabilize the road is expected to start next month and last four months
A $4.3 million repair of flood-damaged Round Top Drive will begin in mid-December and is expected to be complete by mid-April, a city official said yesterday.
T. Iida Contracting Ltd. will fix four sections of the road that were undermined by a series of rain-triggered landslides in March, forcing its closure, according to Eugene Lee, director of the city Department of Design and Construction.
The road sections -- two before and two after the "hairpin curve" -- will have to be stabilized with more than 100 "soldier" piles, Lee said. The wall of pilings will be driven into the ground, then backfilled with earth to support the road where cinders, rocks and earth underneath it washed away, he said.
"The roadway is undermined," Lee said. "The road itself looks like it might be OK" from on top, but "the side of the road disappeared."
Three-fourths of the project's cost will be paid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and one-fourth by the city, Lee said.
The city roadwork is being sandwiched between two phases of slope stabilization work by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which owns the hillsides that slid in March.
Contractors working for the state completed $1 million in slope stabilization work in August and September. It included removing 27 trees and 14,000 cubic yards of loose volcanic cinders, and installing erosion control nets and hydro-mulch on the slope and concrete jersey barriers along the roadside.
The DLNR's second phase of work will begin after the road is reopened and will concentrate on eroded slopes between Round Top Drive and homes below it in Maunalaha Valley, Lee said.
Department officials have said the work in Maunalaha Valley, where 30 families lease land from the department, will cost $3 million.
Some Maunalaha Valley residents asked at a community meeting in the neighborhood this week why current work does not include drainage improvements for the mountainside, Lee said.
"We appreciate everybody's patience," Lee said of the long road closure. "We hope we can get it done for them as quickly as possible. I know they've been waiting for it for a long time."