Meeting on Kapa’a-Kealia bike path set

A conceptual plan for a 4.3 mile bicycle/pedestrian concrete path from Waikaea Canal to Kuna Bay in Kapa’a will be the focus of a county-sponsored meeting in Kapa’a on the night of Tuesday Aug. 27.

The Kaua’i County Public Works Department is asking residents to give their comments on the proposal during a 7 to 9 p.m. meeting at the Kapa’a Neighborhood Center.

When built, the project is intended to help enhance recreational opportunities on public lands in Kawaihau District, the largest population area on Kaua’i, county officials said.

The meeting also will give residents a chance to review comments other people made on the proposal at an earlier informational meeting, officials said.

The proposal is part of a three-phase project that involves construction of a concrete bicycle and pedestrian walkway along 8.4 miles of coastline from Lydgate Park to Kuna Bay, also known as Donkey Beach.

The 8. 4 mile-project is part of a larger,16-mile bicycle and pedestrian walkway proposed along the coastline from Nawiliwili to Anahola.

The larger project was identified in a statewide bicycle plan the state Department of Transportation developed in 1994.

A 12-foot-wide concrete path is planned for the proposed 4.3-mile project, according to Doug Haigh, chief of the building division of the public works department. Parking lots and comfort stations also may be built.

The project is to be built at a cost of $7 million, mostly with federal funds.

A 60-acre beachfront property the developers of the Kealia Kai subdivision donated to the county and has been converted into a county park represents the county’s matching share for the project, Haigh said.

For the second phase, Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawai’i) also secured a $300,000 “economic development Initiative grant” for an environmental assessment and environmental permitting, Haigh said.

The conceptual design stage for the project is expected to be completed this fall.

By January, the process of selecting a “design-build team” begin, with work anticipated to start next summer and be completed by summer 2004, Haigh said.

In June, Kaua’i Builders began construction of the first phase – a 10-foot-wide, concrete path along 2 miles of coastline at Lydgate Park.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, which sets standards for the development of bike facilities in the nation, required the wider path in the second phase. The ongoing work is expected to be completed in December.

The project is being constructed with $2.6 million in federal funds, he said. Accepting as the county’s matching share, the federal government gave the county $600,000 in credit for community labor that went into the building of the Kamalani Kai Bridge at Lydgate Park, Haigh said.

The third phase for the 8.4-mile project calls for connecting the first phase and the second phase, Haigh said.

Funds from the federal Highway Administration and administered locally by the state Department of Transportation were used for the first phase, Haigh said. Funding will be sought from the same source for the other two phases.

In the future, the county hopes to see the construction of a bicycle-pedestrian path on another 8 miles of coastline from Nawiliwili to Anahola.

The fourth phase will involve using state and county lands and privately-owned lands, Haigh said.

Mayor Maryanne Kusaka’s administration, Kaua’i County Councilmembers Bryan Baptiste and Kaipo Asing, the Friends of Kamalani and residents have supported the development of the proposed 16-mile project.

Staff writer Lester Chang can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 225) and


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