Kapa’a to Kealia bike path meeting held

A community meeting was held Thursday night at the Kapa’a Neighborhood Center to gather design ideas for a new phase of a bike and walking path that is planned to stretch from Lihu’e to Anahola.

The meeting focused on what planners are calling Phase II of the bike-walk path. This section will run from the Waiake’a Canal in Kapa’a north to Ahihi Pt. along the coast north of Donkey Beach and Kealia.

County of Kaua’i Building Division head Doug Haigh said about a dozen local residents attended the meeting and provided input on where the path should run and other details.

The path comes under the State of Hawai’i’s Bike Path plan that was established in 1994 and is eligible for federal funding.

Councilman Bryan Baptiste has been instrumental in moving the East Side plan for a bike path from Lihu’e to Anahola. Phase I of the plane is set in an area in and nearby Lydgate Park at Wailua.

The next phase is planned to connect the paths at Lydgate with a section running from Lydgate Park to the Waiake’a Canal, to link up with the path now under discussion .

Haigh said some $7 million in federal funds is being applied for to plan and develop the bike and walking path. Work is planned to include upgrades to some bridges along the route of the path, and the addition of some comfort stations.

He said the stretch of the path from north of Kealia Beach to Donkey Beach will be located upon the stretch of coastal land dedicated to the County of Kaua’i by the developers of the Kealia Kai residential project. Recent county estimates of the value of the oceanfront stretch of former cane haul road is about $5 million, Haigh said.

Federal support for the bike-walking paths work on a four-times matching contribution, so the land dedication should go a long ways in helping with the county being eligible for federal funding for the planned sections of the path, he said.

The county will present plans for the bike-walk path Phase II in mid- or late-August at a community meeting.

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