JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Work to clear the roadway of boulders and debris from Saturday's rockslide at Waimea Bay is progressing. The mangled mesh barricade that contained much of the slide is shown here on Sunday. CLICK FOR LARGE
Highway's 24-hour contra-flow to last weeks
Workers have removed loose materials from a Waimea Bay hillside and taken away rocks and debris from a rockfall Saturday that partially blocked Kamehameha Highway.
A contra-flow lane was to continue today during the morning and afternoon peak-hour traffic periods. The state hopes to have a 24-hour contra-flow lane open by tomorrow.
The 24-hour contra-flow lane will remain in effect for at least three weeks while workers install a temporary fence on the hillside.
The fence, made of ring net mesh, will work as a belt. When a mass of rolling boulders comes in contact with the belt, a ring-locking system will help stop the boulders from rolling onto the roadway, said consultant Ardalan Nikou, of Earth Tech.
Both lanes on Kamehameha Highway will open once the fence is installed.
In the next four to six months, state transportation officials will install a permanent protective fence on the hillside with the same type of material that is currently at the site. Material needs to be ordered from the mainland, said state transportation officials. Customized vertical I-beams need to be installed as well as new lighting fixtures that were damaged in the rockfall over the weekend.
An archeologist has been on site due to the presence of burial caves as workers removed debris from the hillside yesterday. So far, no ancient Hawaiian bones were found, said Transportation Director Barry Fukunaga.
Material excavated from the site will be taken to a second location for a "more intense sifting" to double-check whether any ancient remains were found.