State senators agreed to a $7 million emergency appropriation to repair damages caused by landslides on the Pali and Honoapiilani Highways.
Senate Bill 1091 is the vehicle for the appropriations and passed a final reading in the state Senate on Tuesday. It’s expected to move to Gov. David Ige’s desk for approval.
The 25-member senate voted for $15 million in emergency funds back in early March, but that was cut in half March 27 by House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke.
Heavy rains in February caused massive landslide damages to Pali Highway on Oahu and Honoapiilani Highway on Maui. The state Department of Transportation estimates that the cost could fall between $15 million and $20 million.
The Pali Highway has two contraflow lanes for Honolulu bound traffic between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., Monday through Friday, and Kaneohe bound lanes are open 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, according to a DOT press release.
Meanwhile, the state Department of Transportation said in a press release that it completed landslide mitigation work at 10 sites along Honoapiilani Highway on April 5.
The department says it is seeking federal relief funds to help offset repair costs.
SB 1091 would also allow the DOT to return any reimbursements from the federal government back to the state’s general fund.
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Blaze Lovell is a reporter for Civil Beat and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was born and raised on Oahu. You can reach him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @blaze_lovell