The Hawaii Reporter published a post from Cabanilla's office manager outlining the benefits of an underground tunnel.
The U.S. Navy has told Rep. Rida Cabanilla that "So long as the portals are not on military land and the tunnel deep enough and strong enough to withstand an explosion, the military has no objections to working with the powers that be to advance the Pearl Harbor Tunnel Concept. My engineers inform me this is possible."The post also mentions success of tunnels in other cities, including Atlanta, Georgia and Brisbane, Australia.
People forget that when the second city (Kapolei) was being conceived, the Estate of James Campbell decades ago recommended the tunnel concept through Pearl Harbor as the logical solution to pursue to combat traffic expected/forecasted….and the military crosses numerous underwater tunnels on America's eastern seaboard on a daily basis…ever hear of one complaint in these operations?....
Here in Hawaii, the tunnel concept was one of the most favored by Ewa Beach residents at the October 2005 Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization meeting held at Asing Park and was to be included into the rail option debate with the Managed Lanes and No Build options for inclusion into the city's $10 million Alternative Analysis Study. However, at the 11th hour, the Mayor's administration team alone removed the Pearl Harbor Tunnel Concept (referred to as the Pearl Harbor Emphasis) to be evaluated alongside the rail option. This was done without public input, no public comment- it was just removed it.
During an Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee meeting in 2005, a few concerns surfaced regarding the tunnel. Although the tunnel would significantly reduce travel time for residents living in the Ewa Beach or Kapolei area, it would not benefit or reduce travel time for those residents in other areas. The tunnel would also impact the traffic flow on H1 at the merge near the Pearl Harbor/Hickam interchange and travel speeds would most likely be lower on the H1.
The study would estimate the cost and estimated time-line of planning, designing, and construction of the tunnel, estimate the tunnel's various impacts, including reductions in travel time, and obtain recommendations from the Department of the Navy. In 2005, the legislature allocated $200,000 for the study.