After disastrous flooding struck Kauai’s North Shore in mid-April 2018, causing damage to the highway and bridges, initial estimates had the North Shore reopening to the public after repairs were finished around October 2018. Currently, access to the North Shore is closed to the public past the town of Hanalei. However, Hurricane Lane, which struck the island at the end of August 2018, brought new flooding and damage to the area, dealing a setback for the timeline. Now, the Hawaii Department of Transportation estimates Kuhio Highway, the North Shore’s only land access, will be closed to the public until the end of 2018. The closure includes access to the popular Kalalau Trail, Ke’e Beach and other popular North Shore beaches including Tunnels and Lumahai. The Hawaii Department of Transportation reports:
LIHUE – Project timelines and estimated costs for emergency repairs to Kuhio Highway from the April 2018 flooding will be reassessed following the recent flooding due to remnants of Tropical Cyclone Lane. The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) estimated the repairs would be completed in October at a cost of $80 million.
Flooding August 27 and 28 inundated Kuhio Highway at Hanalei Bridge and between the Waikoko and Wainiha checkpoints. Saturation from the heavy rains also compromised the slope at mile marker 1.0 leading up to the Hanalei Bridge, resulting in a rockfall and fallen tree. HDOT is performing rock scaling on this slope today to prevent additional material loosened by the rains from falling onto the roadway.
A full list of additional work and estimated costs will be added to the existing Kuhio Highway Emergency Repairs project website at https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/2018-kuhio-highway-emergency-repairs/ once in-depth assessments have been completed. Currently, we are estimating setbacks due to the flooding will bring the completion date of the project to the end of the year.
Photo: Hawaii Department of Transporation