Upcoming, planned repair work on the Likelike Highway road surface will now be preceded by repair work in the town-bound Wilson Tunnel atop the highway, as numerous stainless steel rods have broken. While we are assured that passage through the tunnel is safe, the process of repair will be a long one. First comes the determination of what caused the broken steel rods; then comes the 2-3 week wait to get replacement rods. It's nice to hear the rods will arrive with some sense of urgency, unlike the ho-hum attitude when it took months to get lights repaired around Makakilo and the leeward side after copper thieves darkened the roadway and the 3-6 month wait it took years ago to get a transformer shipped and installed in the Pali Tunnels to replace one that had blown. Hey, what's a little highway darkness among friends?
And while we are assured that the Wilson Tunnel in question is structurally safe, which is good, a Department of Transportation spokesman said, "we wanted to make sure that none of the portions of the ceiling fell on any of the motoring public. That's why we shut everything down, so we could assess that." Again, that's sound policy, but it does make you wonder how many windward sides residents will feel comfortable enough to venture through the tunnel right now while it is open and the search for bad rods continues.
While the renovation timetable has been shortened, repair work is slated to occur from just 9pm to 4am daily, and that work should take at least two weeks. Is it feasible and more sensible to put two, full, eight-hour daily or nightly shifts together and completely close the town-bound lanes for perhaps one week to get the repair work done quicker? It's good a fix is on the way; yes, windward-side residents will be dealing with tunnel vision on the Likelike, but hopefully not for too long. Think about it….