KAPAA — A section of Kuhio Highway is scheduled to be improved, thanks to $700,000 released by the Department of Transportation.
The short-term improvements beginning next month will include widening of the roadway from Kuamoo Road to the temporary Kapaa bypass road to eventually provide an additional southbound lane.
“This stretch of Kuhio Highway is one of the worst areas of potholes on Kauai,” said state Rep. Jimmy Tokioka.
One of the business owners along this stretch of highway, Chung Kim of Kintaro Japanese Restaurant, is thankful that the puka in front of his building will finally be resurfaced, after motorists have inadvertently sent rocks flying, causing damages and safety issues.
Other area residents hope the widening of this stretch of highway will improve access to Wailua and Kapaa.
When the Kauai delegation requested funds to pave this area, one concern was the delayed construction starting at Coco Palms Resort due to ongoing lawsuits and various challenges. According to Tokioka, the DOT did not want to pave the area and then have to repave it again once the construction was finalized.
“With the delay of the construction on Coco Palms, the governor through his representative, Ford Fuchigami, agreed to address the issue now,” Tokioka said. “Starting first week of June, construction will begin to repave the road.”
The project would eventually widen the southbound 0.64-mile stretch of Kuhio Highway between the temporary Kapaa bypass road and Kuamoo Road from three to four lanes and would extend the existing right-turn storage lane along Kuamoo Road mauka from its intersection with Kuhio Highway.
“With all the things that are going on now throughout the state, I am grateful that we will be starting construction on this project to bring peace of mind to motorist who traverse this area daily,” Tokioka said.