Sinkhole Stops Traffic on Ali‘i Drive

December 24, 2019, 1:53 PM HST
* Updated December 25, 2:00 AM
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DPW road crews deal with a sinkhole that opened up on Ali‘i Drive Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2019. This is not the first time this section of the road has dealt with problems due to ocean-caused erosion. PC: Tiffany DeMasters

A sinkhole in the southbound lane of Ali‘i Drive has halted the flow of traffic between Hualalai Road and Walua Roads.

Hawai‘i County Police Department issued a text alert at 12:50 p.m. on Christmas Eve that the portion of roadway in front of Coconut Grove was closed for repairs. It was reported to be reopened early this morning at 1:50 a.m.

Police said the sinkhole is a few feet deep and impacting the surrounding areas.

Erosion in that section of Ali‘i Drive has been a recurring issue for the County Department of Public Works for around a half decade. Back in February, a steel plate was installed to mitigate the dangers and keep the road vehicle-ready.

The erosion is caused by crashing water that swirls and circles on the other side of the seawall, which runs down the makai side of Ali‘i Drive. DPW crews have repaired the seawall in the past and filled the sinkhole with rocks.


However, as Tuesday’s issue proves, all fixes have only been temporary. DPW communications staff was not immediately available to answer questions as to a long-term fix for the sinkhole or the specific dangers it poses to motorists.

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