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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, City & County of Honolulu holds virtual public scoping meetings for Ala Wai watershed project
HONOLULU - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in partnership with the City and County of Honolulu, held a pair of virtual public meetings Nov. 10 and Nov. 13 to introduce the Ala Wai Flood Risk Management (FRM) General Reevaluation Study. Approximately 110 community members participated during the Nov. 10 workshop and 45 participated on Nov. 13.
"I sincerely thank all the people who participated in the first set of public workshops regarding the flood risks for the Ala Wai watershed," said Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi. "We heard many thoughtful comments, suggestions and ideas and they will all be reviewed and discussed. We are looking for the best and most feasible solutions and it all starts with listening to the public."
"The Ala Wai Public Workshops were carefully planned to effectively engage with affected communities. Civil Works studies like the Ala Wai FRM can be highly impactful on people's lives, so viable solutions are as much about engagement as engineering. We hoped to demonstrate in this first round of meetings that we are listening," said Commander Lt. Col Eric Marshall, USACE, Honolulu District.
This first phase of public engagement meetings introduced the study and gathered input and ideas from the community. The virtual format afforded innovative ways to receive community input. In small-group breakout sessions, participants discussed issues, opportunities, and potential solutions, and submitted comments to the study team through a mapping tool called Crowdsource Reporter. The easy-to-use app allows users to submit geolocated comments and to view the submissions of other participants. The study team will incorporate input received through the app and through other channels, such as emails submitted to AlaWai@honolulu.gov or through the project website's Contact Form, into technical analyses.
"The workshops completed last week were a first step in engaging the community on this must have project," said Director Alex Kozlov, Department of Design and Construction. "Moving forward, I'm confident that continued engagements will yield an implementable project that will protect people and property within the watershed, be cost effective and acceptable to the community. It was exciting to hear the many ideas that were discussed and although implementing all the great ideas isn't possible nor practical, all will be considered."
These public meetings were the first of at least four rounds of community engagements as we begin this general reevaluation study. The second round, as currently scheduled, will discuss a focused set of potential solutions still under consideration in the study and is anticipated to occur during Summer 2022 prior to the release of the Draft Report. The third round of meetings, tentatively slated for Fall 2022, will discuss the Tentatively Selected Plan as presented in the Draft Report. The final round of meetings in 2023 will review the Recommended Plan prior to release of the Final Report. Additional details on further opportunities for public involvement will be announced by Dec. 12, 2021. Overall, the study will take no longer than three years and will follow a process similar to that of a USACE feasibility study.
Recordings of these virtual meetings and additional information regarding the study are currently available at https://www.honolulu.gov/AlaWai. Input received at the public meetings will be available at this site at a later date.
Those who were unable to attend may still participate and provide input. The team will continue to accept additional comments submitted to Crowdsource Reporter through Dec. 12, 2021 at: https://lrp.maps.arcgis.com/apps/CrowdsourceReporter/index.html?appid=df9e77cff6454945ad3dc75716a044ec.
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