Oceanit hosted a virtual community presentation and Q&A forum on July 30th, 2020 to provide an ‘Informational Status Update Briefing’ on the Ala Wai Canal Flood Mitigation Project. Members of the community dialed into the remote meeting to hear from Oceanit, he City Council’s Permitted Interaction Group (PIG) members, and a representative from the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) who took turns presenting and answering questions in meeting.
Oceanit was joined by councilmember Carol Fukanaga, Tommy Waters, and Ann Kobayashi along with Jeff Herzog from USACE. In the meeting, Councilmember Kobayashi led introductions followed by a statement from Oceanit’s CEO, Patrick Sullivan. Oceanit then recapped our community-driven ideas for “SWIFT Tunnels” and presented updated budget figures to explore how this could supplement the US Army Corps of Engineers plans.
A full video of the meeting and presentations is available here, and on YouTube. The meeting predated the USACE’s release of updated project engineering reports, which was completed on August 6th, 2020.
Following the final community meeting on July 30th, the US Army Corps of Engineers released their revised plan for the Ala Wai Flood Control Project on August 6th, 2020. The new USACE plans, focuses on removing water from the watershed, as opposed to earlier plans which centered around six retention basins in the upper watershed to hold water back.
According to USACE officials, the August 2020 plan allows for significantly less impact on the natural streams and residential properties within the watershed, taking guidance and input from the community, Oceanit, and the City of Honolulu PIG. Instead, the new plan focuses on removing the water quickly, without leaving residuals in the upper reaches of the watershed valleys.
“Community engagement input was vital in making recommended changes shown in the report. The report reflects many concerns heard from Ala Wai communities.”
– Dino W. Buchanan, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District Public Affairs
You can read more about the new USACE report in several publications that we have linked below. The report showing the current proposed project design are available by clicking here.
- Honolulu Star Advertiser: https://www.staradvertiser.com/2020/08/19/hawaii-news/ala-wai-flood-control-plan-gets-major-overhaul/
- Hawaii Public Radio: https://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/post/army-announces-modified-plan-ala-wai-flood-project#stream/0
- KHON: https://www.khon2.com/local-news/new-water-system-project-aims-to-help-the-ala-wai-community/
- Civil Beat: https://www.civilbeat.org/2020/08/feds-revamp-ala-wai-flood-control-plan-after-community-opposition/
Questions about the project or about Oceanit’s SWIFT planning and City Permitted Interaction Group can be emailed to [email protected]