Article

BOULDER KAM Kam Highway Closes Due To (Another) Rock Slide at Waimea Bay

| posted on July 22, 2010

I made it through and so did the dozen or so other cars and trucks
behind me. It was midnight at Waimea Bay. Overhead there
were a few clouds – the moon was out, your classic late night sky across
the North Shore. But 30 minutes later and there was an explosion-
a rumble across the Bay cliffs that sounded like a cross between
a fighter jet and a train, both passing by at top end. A huge
section of the same rock wall that had collapsed in March 2000 broke
apart from the cliff line with boulders twice the size of SUV’s
blowing right through the protective guard fence and spilling across
the two-lanes of Kamehameha Highway that ring the northern half of
O’ahu.

Once again the entire island-county is cut in half. Traffic is being turned around at the
Waimea church parking lot on the Sunset Beach side and on the Haleiwa side drivers are
being re-directed back by looping through the Waimea Bay beach
parking lot.

Heavy equipment has been brought in
to pull the rocks off the road, mound the slide back off the cement
barrier/fence and eventually clear the slide area so that geologists
can better investigate the break-away and either give a green light
to opening the highway or go on to Plan B (no one knows as of this writing). Fence and steel support pillars will have to be re-
installed and the rest of the liability/insurance red tape connected
with the State Highway department will have to be addressed.

To make matters even worse, since getting across to the other side
means locking your car up and walking across Waimea Bay beach and
hitching a ride onward, the last 24 hours has been a catastrophy of
another kind. A most incredibly-late-in-the-season winter swell came
roaring in at 15’+ on Easter Sunday, washing up and over the beach at
Waimea and trapping hundreds of people making their way across the
Bay for the parking lot and beyond. It’s been a nightmare for Waimea
lifeguards and local Civil Defense volunteers, trying to escort
everyone back and forth across the sand between giant shore-break
sets washing up and over the beach ‘path’. Evening flood lights will
have to be set up, with volunteers at-hand at dark fall in an attempt
to keep the flow of humanity and everyone’s safety intact.

In the
meantime, it’s seven years later and once again you’re either an
‘upside’ or ‘downside’ surfer, depending upon which way you drive
into the North Shore this week. Officials have just announced, as of
this posting, that a single lane will be open for three hours of dawn-
hour traffic and the same in the late afternoon. Just don’t be THE
car that doesn’t make the cut-off. It’s a longggg way back.