Hanalei Hill Landslide - Update On Kuhio Highway Repairs Kauai

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"Smoke Testing" To Locate The Mysterious Historic Tunnel

On Thursday, April 15, 2021, the department of transportation will be blowing a lot of smoke up the mystery tunnel exposed by the recent landslide on the Kuhio Highway between Princeville and Hanalei.  Records indicate this tunnel carried water to a system in the Princeville area.  Its downhill opening was uncovered in the March 9 landslide, and part of the effort to stabilize the slope involves determining the course of this water system and its possible impact on the stability of the hillside.  The notice below is from HDOT, and they are asking anyone in the Princeville area who sees smoke on Thursday to please call (808) 220-4226 to report its location.  

State of Hawaii Department of Transportation Department of Transportation

DAVID Y. IGE
GOVERNOR

JADE T. BUTAY
DIRECTOR

For Immediate Release: April 13, 2021
21-0106

SMOKE TESTING FOR HANALEI HILL LANDSLIDE PROJECT SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY, APRIL 15

 

LIHUE – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) informs Kauai residents of smoke testing planned for April 15 on the water tunnel exposed by the March 11 landslide on Kuhio Highway (Route 560) near the intersection of Hanalei Plantation Road.  To locate the entrance(s) to the tunnel, large quantities of smoke will be blown into the tunnel by jet fans to force smoke out of any upstream entrance(s). Historic maps from the 1800’s suggest that the water tunnel was connected to systems in the Princeville area.

 

The smoke test will use non-toxic, odorless, white, or gray smoke. During the test, drones will be flown to assist with spotting smoke exiting the tunnel.  If you see smoke during the smoke testing operation, please call (808) 220-4226.  Once the water source(s) feeding the tunnel is found, work to cut off the water source will take place to improve the stability of the highway.

 

All work is weather permitting and will not affect the scheduled access on Kuhio Highway at Hanalei Hill. For the access schedule and latest updates visit https://hidot.hawaii.gov/2021-hanalei-hill-landslide/.

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