Waimea Valley Landslide

Update on Menehune Road Closure Due to Landslide

January 11, 2022

Menehune Road in Waimea, Kauai is expected to remain fully closed for roughly three weeks, until the slope above the roadway can be stabilized and is deemed safe for daily passing, reports the County of Kauai. Contractors will continue to work seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., until the slope is stabilized.

Menehune Road was blocked by a sizeable landslide on January 4th, 2022 after heavy rains. The landslide has blocked access for approximately 24 families. The road is the only way in and out of the area. From the point of the landslide, Menehune Road continues for about another mile with more than a dozen houses along the road. The Waimea River runs alongside or parallel to the road. This area is the lower end of Waimea Canyon.

Menehune Road Closure

PHOTOS: The first phase of rock scaling work included forcing loose rocks off the slope onto the roadway below.

County contractors began the first phase of rock scaling work on Sunday, January 9th, and continued on Monday. This work included forcing loose rocks off the slope and onto the roadway below. Steel plates and a protective layer of rock will remain on the roadway to safeguard the Department of Water’s 10-inch waterline.

In addition to the blockage of Menehune Road, the landslide also damaged the Waimea Swinging Bridge. This bridge provides access for families in the Makaweli area. Contractors are continuing to assess damage to the bridge. However, repair work to the bridge cannot begin until the slope is stabilized. Given the historic nature of the bridge, officials expect this to be a long-term repair project. Starting on Tuesday, January 11th, contractors temporarily suspended rock scaling work to focus on securing the bridge from further damage. This work is expected to take roughly four days, from Tuesday through Friday. Slope stabilization activities will continue once the bridge is secure, reports the County of Kauai.

The county has so far not mentioned the condition of the Menehune Ditch, the remains of a historic aqueduct built by an unknown civilization before the first Polynesians arrived on Kauai. The watercourse is one of the island’s greatest mysteries. One of the last remaining visible sections of the ditch is at the site of the landslide, and it is likely buried by debris from the landslide at this time.


Olympic Cafe Kauai

Olympic Cafe Kauai

Queen's Bath Rescue

First Responders Conduct Multiple Rescues on Kauai’s North Shore