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City And Usace Invite Public Comment On Ala Wai Flood Risk Management Study
HONOLULU – After 14 public meetings dating back to November 2021, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District, in partnership with the City and County of Honolulu are announcing the release of the Ala Wai Flood Risk Management draft General Reevaluation Report and Integrated Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for review and 45-day public comment period.
The goal of the study is to identify and recommend a plan for flood risk management throughout the Ala Wai Canal watershed, including along the Ala Wai Canal, as well as the Manoa, Palolo, and Makiki Streams.
Without protection, a catastrophic flood would damage commercial and residential structures, disrupt transportation and critical infrastructure, and cause widespread displacement and loss
of income for businesses and residents.
“This study is a fresh look at solutions to ensure the safety of the hundreds of thousands of people that live, work, and play in Waikīkī and the surrounding communities,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “This is about reducing the potential impacts of catastrophic flooding to our island and protecting transportation, access to medical facilities, and maintaining operations of our critical infrastructure for years to come.”
The study began in June 2021 by gathering ideas, input, and concerns from the community during a series of public workshops. 223 potential solutions for reducing flood risk were identified and analyzed before choosing the Tentatively Selected Plan (TSP) which includes floodwalls along the Manoa stream adjacent to the Woodlawn Bridge, at the confluence of the Manoa and Palolo Streams, as well as along both sides of the Manoa-Palolo and Ala Wai Canals. The floodwall along the Ala Wai Canal would incorporate an elevated walkway to mitigate for impacts to the viewshed and allow for access to existing canoe ramps. The TSP also includes a detention basin at the Ala Wai Golf Course.
“The Ala Wai watershed community has been invaluable in helping shape this plan and working through real solutions that focus on building a safer and more resilient community,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Pevey, commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District.
USACE in partnership with the City and County of Honolulu, will conduct two public meetings to accept verbal and/or written comments on the adequacy of the draft environmental document. Both meetings will feature the same information and will be recorded and made available on the study website.
In-Person: Tue. Dec. 12
Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Location: Mission Memorial Auditorium
650 South King Street,
Honolulu, HI 96813
Virtual: Wed. Dec. 13
Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Link to attend: https://usace1.webex.com/meet/AlaWai
Audio-only at: +1 (844) 800-2712
Use access code: 199 461 0022
Comments can also be submitted by U.S. Mail, Email or online during the 45-day comment period extending from November 23, 2023 through January 8, 2024:
www.honolulu.gov/ alawai/ contact.html
(Please include “SEIS” in the subject line of emails for comments.)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District, 230 Otake St.
(Attn: POH-PPC, Ala Wai), Fort Shafter, HI 96858-5440
All comments are viewed equally, regardless of how they are submitted and will be incorporated into the final General Reevaluation Report and Integrated Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement which will be available for review and comment in Spring 2024.
A printed copy of the General Reevaluation Report and Integrated Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement can be viewed at the Waikiki-Kapahulu Public Library during regular business hours. A digital copy can be viewed or downloaded at: https://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/erp/Doc_Library/2023-11-23-OA-DSEIS-Ala-Wai-Canal-Flood-Risk-Management-Project.pdf">https://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/erp/Doc_Library/2023-11-23-OA-DSEIS-Ala-Wai-Canal-Flood-Risk-Management-Project.pdf or at the study website at www.honolulu.gov/AlaWai
The Integrated Supplemental EIS is being prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Chapter 343 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes (commonly referred to as HEPA). A notice of availability has been published in the Federal Register and the state Office of Environmental Quality Control’s publication, The Environmental Notice.
Visit Study Website:
More information about the Ala Wai FRM GR Study can be found at the website, to include recordings of all previous virtual public meetings and a link to subscribe to the mailing list: www.honolulu.gov/AlaWai
Figures 1- 3: Illustration by: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The conceptual rendering of the Ala Wai Canal waterfront features a designed flood barrier with an elevated path, presented in conjunction with the draft feasibility report for the flood risk study. It is not a final design – it is a rendering to help with discussion and visualization with measures in the tentatively selected plan, subject to public review and comment.
A rock façade mimics the traditional volcanic rock found throughout the watershed and is emblematic of Hawaii’s natural resources. An 11-foot-wide accessibility-minded (and ADA compliant) path, elevated three feet from the base of the six-foot wall, is integrated into the floodwall's design to provide an aesthetic viewshed for pedestrians and commuters.
The rendering illustrates the potential flood risk reduction along both banks of the Ala Wai Canal. The design showcases and complements the City and County of Honolulu's "Complete Streets" initiative, which features a conceptually-designed landscape including a multidirectional bike lane alongside the walking path, integrating a safe transportation corridor for cyclists with the other universally accessible mobility features. Flanking these corridors are streamlined traffic lanes.
Figure 1: Illustration by: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Figure 2: Illustration by: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Figure 3: Illustration by: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Original hi-resolution files (jpegs) were attached with this release. To request images:
Contact: Cortland Henderson
Deputy Chief of Public Affairs
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District
O:808-835-4004 / M:808-829-2345
Communications Director for Mayor Rick Blangiardi
and the City and County of Honolulu
Questions? Ready for an appointment?
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