Working in Maui’s Historic ‘Iao Valley

Some structural engineering projects are just a little more interesting to work on than others. This was the case when K2N Crest was called in to evaluate flood damage impacting the foundational supports for a large water pipe crossing the ‘Iao River in Maui, Hawaii.

The ‘Iao River flows through one of the state’s most beautiful parks. It is also the site where one of Hawaii’s bloodiest battles took place when Kamehameha I from the island of Hawai’i fought to unite the islands under his rule in 1790. There were so many slain from both armies during the battle at the ‘Iao River that their bodies clogged the water’s flow. The battle became known as Kepaniwai, “Damming of the Waters.”

K2N found that one of the instream foundational supports had completely washed away while another was severely damaged. In addition, one of the stream banks had significantly eroded – leaving the underlying gravel trap  structure cantilevering over the river bed.

The K2N structural analysis indicated that the pipe could be self-supporting without the missing instream supports, but recommend installing a single new intermediate support. This would provide a factor of safety against failure of the pipe in the event that another of the intermediate supports is destroyed. The team also recommended filling the voids between the existing large rocks beneath the gravel trap with concrete to provide a buttress against future floods.

In addition to the foundational issues, K2N structural engineers noted that the remaining steel pipe supports (from the top of the existing piers to the steel pipe) were severely corroded and recommended the installation of new galvanized steel supports.

Avery B. Chumbley, President of Wailuku Water Co said, “Working with K2N was a pleasure, they were open and receptive to the suggestions we made on alternative approaches to the emergency repairs.” Chumbley added, “The cultural significance of this Maui historic place was respected and preserved by K2N’s professional approach to this project.”

K2N Crest specializes in creative problem solving in the practices of architectural design, structural engineering, architectural engineering, interior renovation, forensic engineering and roof consulting.  Building owners and managers throughout Illinois and Hawaii look to K2N for their architectural, structural and roof evaluation needs.