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Sinkhole near Paauilo could be filled as early as today

Updated: 
January 2, 2014 - 9:49pm

A sinkhole that swallowed a truck earlier this week near Paauilo could be filled as early as today.

Crews with Goodfellow Bros. were working “around the clock” to repair a portion of Pohakea Mauka Road damaged Monday when a culvert collapsed during heavy rainfall, said foreman Clifford Cox.

The hole, which reached approximately 25 feet across and 15 feet deep, was being filled with concrete Thursday.

Cox said it would be ready for traffic either today or Saturday.

Work to fix the road, which also involved replacing the culvert, began Wednesday.

The hole has isolated about 50 residents mauka of the collapse, but many have made do with the help of neighbors and the community’s emergency response team.

While the road hasn’t been passable by car, there is enough room for residents to walk around it to the other side, where they get rides from other community members.

Carl Pinahs, CERT leader for the Paauilo Mauka Kalopa Community Association, said the team mobilized quickly to see what help was needed.

That included giving Jessie Rodrigues a ride to and from work.

Rodrigues said she appreciated the help but noted that residents there are a hardy bunch.

“We’re tough,” she said, adding that the loss of water for three days because of a ruptured line presented the biggest problem.

Some tapped a fire hydrant to “fill up,” Rodrigues said.

The line has since been repaired, she said. All that’s left is the road.

“I’m sure glad they are moving really fast,” Rodrigues said.

Darryl Oliveira, Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator, said he was pleased with the quick progress, as well.

“They’re making what I consider to be significant or tremendous strides,” he said, referring to the work crews and the Public Works Department. “It’s great.”

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.