Kolekole Pass Update

On 4/9/11, my community liaison, Chasid Sapolu, attended a sight tour of Kolekole Pass (KP) hosted by Captain Richard W. Kitchens, the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Commander.  The purpose of the site tour was to view and discuss the issues and possibilities surrounding the reopening of KP road as a state evacuation route.  Mr. Sapolu’s report follows:

The Wash-Out Location
Tour began at an area of the KP road where heavy rains have caused significant damage to the passage way.  The erosion removed a quater of the road into a ditch, and in the middle of the road was a crack that Capt. Kitchen explained could possibly mark the area that might crumble into the ditch under rain or the weight of heavy vehicles.

The stability of this area is unknown and the extent of damage raises safety and liability issues.  As such, under no circumstance will the military open KP to public use.  The military believes that any emergency that might require opening KP cannot be compared to the safety issues that surround the wash-out area and conditions of KP in general.  Capt. Kitchen also cited security issues and regulations regarding civilians near explosive ordinances as additional reasons why the military is less inclined to open KP for public use at this time.

There are two possible solutions to repairing the “Wash-Out” area:

1) Total Repair of Wash-Out Area
– Bring area back up to par, safe for use (possibly a permanent bridge)
– Cost: $7-$10m
– Would take a couple years to complete (install anchors into soils)
– Repair expected to last 25 years

2) Bailey Bridge
– A bridge that would bypass the wash-out area and connect the KP road.
– Cost: $2.5m
– Would take 9-12 months to complete (soil tests, construction, etc.)
– Expected to last 8-12 years with constant maintenance.

Remainder of KP Road

The tour also included a short walk down KP road where Capt. Kitchen showed us the conditions of the area.  On the sides of the road are deep ditches caused by rain erosion, some parts of the asphalt were eroded so much that constant gravel filling was required.  The Capt also explained that there are many parts of the passage that are susceptible to rock falls (large boulders) posing yet another risk to use of KP.

Future of KP
The military has no motive to repair the wash-out area as there is no “mission-purpose” for it to be used.  However, Capt. Kitchen did express a desire to partner with government (City and/or State)  to secure funds from elsewhere to permit needed repairs. 

Capt. Kitchen also mentioned that it is the ultimate goal of the Navy to, “eventually,” leave the Lualualei annex (consolidate all materials/needs to West Loch).  The Capt. explained however, that it would likely be over 10 years before such a move could be completed as the Air Force and Army utilize portions of the Annex.

To bring the entire KP road up to par and adequate for public use, would cost approximately $100 million. 

DVD of Tour/Conclusion

There was a videographer on the tour who took photos and video footage.  The military public affairs office will be sending a DVD of the tour to our office.

Overall, the tour was an informative look at KP, the military’s standpoint on this issue, and the possible future surrounding the area. Capt. Kitchen and his crew were very accommodating and open to answering questions, it appears that he sincerely hopes to partner up with the State or City to garner sufficient funds to bring KP up to acceptable standards.
Contact Persons for Additional Information
Grace Hew Len,  Military Public Affairs, (808) 473.2926, grace.hewlen@navy.mil
Laura Taylor, Executive Secretary to the Commander, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, 850 Ticonderoga St., Suite 100, Pearl Harbor, HI  96860-5102, Ofc:  808-473-2201, Fax:  808-474-4559

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