HA’ENA — The state Department of Transportation is proposing to build an
elevated ford culvert over Manoa Stream to improve vehicular
Currently, there is no bridge over the stream, which crosses
Kuhio Highway near Ha’ena Beach Park. Motorists must ford the crossing.
DOT said its project will help alleviate potential hazards to motorists who
cross the stream during heavy rains.
During such times, stream runoff makes
it nearly impossible to cross, forcing traffic to be halted or rerouted until
dangerous flood conditions subside.
Roberta Haas, a 30-year resident of
Ha’ena who must traverse the crossing to get to her home, said she supports
parts of the project that will protect the stream from pollution.
opposes the culvert, in principle, because it represents more urbanization of
the North Shore. Haas said she and many of her neighbors feel the area has
becoming too developed.
“What I have problems with is the changing face of
Ha’ena,” Haas said. “And as we make these upgrades, we lose part of the old
Steve Kyono, DOT’s program manager on Kaua’i, said the
department wants to maintain the rural character of the North Shore.
DOT has made it clear to North Shore residents that we understand the
sensitivity to the rural ambiance to the North Shore, and we don’t intend to
upset that,” he said.
Initially, he said, the transportation department
proposed a plan to construct concrete culverts and concrete curbs over the
crossing, but scrubbed those improvements in favor of what the residents wanted
to see in the way of a ford crossing.
“We wanted to exercise sensitivity to
the neighborhood and come up with a design that is less obtrusive,” Kyono
The elevated culvert would decrease the labor spent by the DOT to
clear debris following a storm.
The proposal includes the installation
of two arch-pipe culverts, construction of cement masonry inlet and outlet
structures, backfilling and a concrete slab over the stream that would be at
the same level of the roadway.
With shoulders added on, the roadway width
will be increased to 43 feet, the DOT said. The current roadway is 18
The elevated stream crossing will help protect the environment as
well, the DOT said.
The structure will reduce the amount of pollution
vehicles discharge into the stream. Currently vehicles discharge some oil and
gas when they cross the stream.
The DOT estimates the cost of the project
at about $350,000.
It is currently soliciting public comments on a draft
Once a contractor is selected through the bid
process, work could start as early as next summer, Kyono said.
can begin, approval is needed from the state Department of Health, U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, State Department of Land and Natural Resources , state
Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism and the Kaua’i Planning