New alternatives offered for Oahu canal flooding plan

HONOLULU — An engineering consulting firm provided new alternatives to a flood management plan for an Oahu canal.

Oceanit company officials met with residents to offer options to the Ala Wai Canal plan to protect Waikiki and other neighborhoods.

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The federal government offered to fund $220 million of a $345 million Army Corps of Engineers project to construct walls and berms around the canal. The plan also would put flood-control structures in the upper areas of the watershed, officials said.

The community prefers gates, pumps and retractable walls to control canal flooding. Residents also support underground detention basins in upper watershed areas and dryland and wetland plots to dissipate energy and hold flood waters, Oceanit officials said.

The recommendations are based on meetings with 100 interested parties.

The Honolulu City Council contracted Oceanit to conduct community outreach and solicit alternatives to the Corps’ plan, which has met resistance including protests and a lawsuit filed by the group Protect Our Ala Wai Watersheds.

Other Oceanit suggestions include dredging and cleanup as well as ecosystem restoration such as green infrastructure, water quality improvement, stream maintenance and repurposed storm water.

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Oceanit is not part of the project team and viable alternatives must not cost more than the federal appropriation, a Corps project manager said.

The Corps last week proposed its own revisions and plans to provide public updates in November.

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