Repairs in Wilson Tunnel could take 6-8 weeks
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During that time, the right lane may also need to be closed, possibly during the overnight hours.
DOT says damage to eight stainless steel rods which support the tunnel ceiling was discovered during a routine inspection on Sept. 25. The tunnel was closed over that weekend. During that closure, 22 other rods were found to be damaged. There is also cracks in some of the concrete areas near the vents.
The cause of the deterioration is under investigation. There are more than 300 rods in each tunnel.
The rods that were damaged are the same rods that were installed when the tunnel opened in 1960.
The tunnel ceiling is made of 5-inch-thick reinforced concrete slabs that rest on ledges along both side walls of each tunnel and are supported in the center by a stainless steel rod.
Parts and materials are expected to arrive in 3-to-4-weeks. An additional 2-to-4-weeks is estimated for the repairs to be completed.
Crews may be working seven days a week, 24 hours a day to complete the work as soon as possible.
The speed limit in the Honolulu-bound Wilson Tunnel has been reduced from 35 mph to 25 mph.
A tow truck is stationed on the Likelike Highway during the morning commute tomove a stalled vehicle off the roadway to quickly reduce traffic and open up the lane for travel.
The DOT says full inspections are done every two years with visual inspections done more frequently. The last full inspection was done in 2013. The rods were not damaged during that inspection.
The Pali Highway Tunnel and the Harano Tunnels are not built in the same way as the Wilson Tunnel. The Pali Highway Tunnel is an arch and does not have the stainless steel rods or a plenum above the structure. The Harano Tunnels does have a plenum above the structure, similar to the Wilson Tunnel. However, the Harano Tunnels also have a median wall down the middle to support the tunnel.
The Pali Highway and the H-3 Freeway are viable options for those who do not want to take the Likelike Highway.