Arthur Lambert, Oahu regional manager of Goodfellow Brothers Inc., spoke to the media yesterday about the contractor's plans to cut and flatten the hillside where a series of landslides has interfered with the busy traffic flow of Kalanianaole and Kamehameha highways.

Safety work to close
Castle Junction lane

The right-turn lane from Kalanianaole Highway to Kamehameha Highway at Castle Junction will be closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow for workers to remove cliffside brush as part of a $7.8 million safety project.

The work will be the latest step in the state Department of Transportation project that is to shave the current 80-degree slope on the Kaneohe side of the Kalanianaole Highway to a 26-degree slope by July.

The department has rated the intersection as one of the top 10 danger zones for landslides along state highways.

If there were not a highway below the 240,000 cubic yards of dirt the state wants to move, the job could go twice as quickly, Jim Danskin, grading foreman for contractor Goodfellow Brothers Inc., said yesterday.

But with about 142,000 vehicles passing through the Windward intersection daily, safety is a top priority, Danskin said.

Dirt removal will start in March from the top of the hill, more than 100 feet above the intersection, and move toward Kailua along Kalanianaole Highway, said Art Lambert, Goodfellow's Oahu regional manager.

But the bulldozers will not rain dirt down on traffic, he said. There will be a berm to stop dirt pushed from the top of the hill from going onto the highway.

Setting up that work area will involve moving the right-turn lane.

A front-end loader will pick up dirt at the base of the hill and load it into dump trucks, Lambert said.

Kalanianaole lanes will not close during morning and afternoon rush hours -- 5:30-8:30 a.m. and 3:30-6:30 p.m. -- during the project, said Scott Ishikawa, state transportation spokesman.

A Honolulu-bound contraflow lane also will be open 5:30 to 6:45 a.m. on weekdays. That lane helps alleviate congestion because the right-turn lane of the highway has been closed since landslides in May and June.

The company hopes to move 300 to 400 truckloads a day, Lambert said.

That will be enough to cover 7 1/2 acres of nearby Kaneohe Ranch land 15 feet deep, said Mike Nishijima, Kaneohe Ranch asset management director.

The ranch site is the Goodfellow's first choice for placing the excavated dirt because travel time for the dump trucks will be short -- about 100,000 truck miles compared with 900,000 truck miles for alternate Leeward disposal sites, Lambert said.

A grading permit for the Kaneohe Ranch location is pending with the city, but if it is not received in time, the work will begin with dirt temporarily trucked to sites at Halawa Quarry or the Oceanpointe development in Ewa Beach.

Work will be done around the clock until May, when night work will be stopped because of its potential ill effect on nesting shearwater birds, which are endangered.


E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --