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Oahu Opens Bypass Along Coast Highway

March 26, 2000

Tourists are being discouraged from making the popular around-the-island drive of Oahu after a rockslide blocked Kamehameha Highway and a temporary bypass was opened.

After the March 6 rockslide along the north shore in the Waimea area, the state's Department of Transportation closed a stretch of the highway. On March 18, a 1,022-foot-long bypass made of webbing and crushed coral opened atop the beach at Waimea Beach State Park. Speeds are limited to 5 mph, and only vehicles 4 tons or under--essentially, passenger cars, small pickup trucks and small vans--are allowed. Tour buses have been rerouted, and local bus riders are loaded onto a shuttle for that stretch.

Kamehameha Highway isn't expected to reopen for at least two months, said Department of Transportation spokeswoman Marilyn Kali. Because the bypass can be damaged by heavy traffic, she urged tourists to avoid driving that section. For updated road information, call (808) 587-2345 or visit the Web site http://www.hawaii.gov/dot/.

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