AASHTO Journal

Hawaii DOT Expects Kuhio Highway to Partially Reopen May 7

​Based on recent field assessments, the Hawaii Department of Transportation and the County of Kauai expect to get one lane of the flooded Kuhio Highway on the North Shore of Kauai open by May 7, with travel along the roadway limited to emergency access only until that time.

Heavy rainfall trigged flooding and mudslides that blocked and damaged the Kuhio Highway between the towns of Waikoko and Wainiha

HDOT expects to open a one-lane route to Wainiha and Haena by May 7, though travel will remain limited for some time. The agency said HDOT-led crews are working to clear over a dozen landslides on Kuhio Highway as well as stabilize two sites, one in Waikoko and one immediately east of Wainiha Bridge No. 1, with a variety of soil anchor systems.

HawaiiFlooding.jpgTo expedite disaster recovery operations, HDOT noted that it is deploying temporary 25-ton capacity temporary bridges to provide increased capacity for the bridges areas at Waioli, Waipa, and Waikoko streams. The agency pointed out that the existing bridges along the Kuhio highway are weight-restricted to 8 tons.

HDOT added that it will continue to work on stabilizing the road base and assess the slope faces exposed by the landslides. Once the geotechnical assessments and designs are completed, a timeline for the full opening of Kuhio Highway from Waikoko to Wainiha will be established, it said.

"I'm grateful to our team working to reestablish access to these communities in the Hanalei District," noted Gov. David Ige in a statement. "The state will continue to partner with and support Kauai County in their recovery efforts and hope to see these devastated areas make a full recovery with the reassurance that we're doing everything we can to ensure Kuhio Highway is safe and passable."

Photo: Hawaii DOT

Questions regarding this article may be directed to editor@aashtojournal.org.

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