Roadwork to set back Round Top reopening
Cracks are found in the pavement of the scenic roadway
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More damage was recently discovered at Round Top Drive, prompting the city to delay the reopening of the scenic roadway until the end of the year, frustrating some residents.
Cracks were discovered on the downhill lane near the 2800 block of the roadway. The cracks were attributed to an adjacent failing crib wall that provides lateral support to the roadway, said Eugene Lee, director of the Department of Design and Construction.
Contractors plan to stabilize the roadway by "micropiling" it with steel tubs, steel rods and concrete.
Cost to repair the cracks and crib wall is estimated at $1 million, bringing the total repair amount to $5.5 million.
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Discovery of further damage to Round Top Drive has prompted the city to delay the reopening of the roadway until the end of the year, frustrating some residents.
Repairs were to be completed last month after landslides from heavy rains in March 2006 damaged part of the roadway.
"It's frustrating because it just drags on so long," said longtime Tantalus resident Rick Ralston.
Lateral cracks were recently discovered on the downhill lane, near the 2800 block of Round Top Drive. After contractors recently removed vegetation to the Ewa side of the roadway, they discovered concrete deterioration and exposed and corroded rebar to the crib wall that provides support to the roadway, said Eugene Lee, director of the city Department of Design and Construction.
The city is expected to spend an additional $1 million to repair about 125 feet of the roadway. With additional repairs, the total cost to repair and stabilize the roadway is estimated at $5.5 million.
"It's something that must be done to ensure that we can stabilize the road and to ensure the safety of the downhill residents," Lee said yesterday at the affected site.
He noted that the deteriorated areas pre-existed last year's heavy rainfall.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
City Councilman Rod Tam talked to residents yesterday about the heavily damaged section of Round Top Drive. Reopening of the road has been delayed until the end of the year. CLICK FOR LARGE
The deluge and tractors and trucks going up and down the roadway are suspected to have compounded the problem.
A few steel plates currently cover the affected areas on the roadway.
Contractors from Iida T. Contracting Ltd. plan to "micropile" the roadway to stabilize it. Steel pipes 7 inches in diameter will be driven about 25 to 35 feet into the ground.
The pipes will be placed about 8 1/2 feet apart, said engineer James Kwong, of Yogi Kwong Engineers LLC. Steel rods will then be placed in the center of each pipe where concrete will be poured in, said superintendent Alvin Iida.
Concrete will also be used to reinforce the crib wall and repave the roadway.
Ralston, who has lived in Tantalus for 24 years, said, "This is what's incomprehensible for me. A year and a half ago, they should have surveyed this whole thing right after the damage."
"I'm very disappointed," he added.
Ralston, 64, who lives at the 3200 block of Round Top Drive, noted that it takes him 22 minutes to get home on Tantalus Drive from the bottom of the hill compared with seven minutes on Round Top Drive.
Other residents have also complained about the increased traffic on Tantalus Drive since the road closure. "It's a hardship for the people who live up here because the traffic and the distance and the noise," said John Steelquist, chairman of the Makiki-Lower Punchbowl-Tantalus Neighborhood Board.
The city is responsible for the roadway, while the state is responsible for the slope.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources, meanwhile, plans to reinforce the upper slope along the roadway with a catchment wall and fence.