Maunawili Munitions Sweeps

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers launched a sweep for munitions and explosives Feb. 10 along the Maunawili Demonstration and Falls trails and the trail connecting them.

The work, which is expected to last for five weeks, already has uncovered a 37mm projectile, and other unexploded ordnance could still be lying around, according to project manager Kevin Pien.

“Some of the items are old – from World War II or earlier, and they can be rusted,” Pien said. “In general, if you didn’t drop it, don’t pick it up. We promote the 3Rs of unexploded ordnance safety: Recognize, retreat, report.

“If something looks suspicious, do not touch it. Call 911, leave the area and report it. Also, make sure that other people in the area are aware of the object.”

The ACE Honolulu District contracted with Huikala LLC for the project, officially termed a full Munitions and Explosives of Concern sweep. It also is coordinating with the state, which owns the land, and with emergency responders.

While the sweeping is under way, hikers are kept at a safe distance of about 350 feet, but the trails remain open, as the workers stop digging to let people pass. Once completed, the sweep should end clearance activities for the time being, or until evidence surfaces of additional hazards.