Kapa’a-to-Kealia portion of path under construction

KAPA’A — The unique citizen-government partnership that resulted in planning for a coastal path from Nawiliwili to Anahola was acknowledged during the dedication of the second phase of the path yesterday.

Kaua’i Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste, serving as the emcee for the event, demonstrated this relationship by presenting Emmaline Lovell White his lei, as well as recognizing her efforts as one of the original people who served on the path planning committee.

Baptiste also acknowledged his predecessor, Maryanne Kusaka, for her efforts that resulted in the bike path that currently spans Lydgate Park and portions of Kapa’a town.

Ke Ala Hele Makalae — Phase II, as the current project is named, will continue the bike path along the existing line in Kapa’a, through Kealia, with Baptiste acknowledging Tom and Bonnie McCloskey, and Justin and Michele Hughes, who contributed land to this phase of the project.

Doug Haigh, of the county Department of Public Works Building Division, one of the original spearheads of the path project, explained that this is the second of six phases, with James W. Glover, Ltd. leaders being the general contractor for the $12-million project.

Baptiste said that, by this time next year, he expects to be untying the maile, the project having a scheduled completion date of November 2006.

Brennon Morioka of the state Department of Transportation Highways Division noted that this project is the best example of public participation in a government project, emphasizing that there needs to be feedback from members of the public on their needs.

John Romanoswski, representing the contractor, asked members of the public for their patience during the 11 months members of his crews will be working in the area.

He said that, due to his visits to the area, he knows that the area is highly used, but due to the presence of heavy equipment and workers on site, that members of the public be cautious during this period.

Alex Pascual of the county’s Building Division explained that the project will wind through Kapa’a town along existing paths, and in back of the Kapa’a Neighborhood Center, and will follow the road, keeping it away from the rock wall.

From the neighborhood center, the path will utilize the access road behind the Kapa’a swimming pool, traverse the area behind Otsuka’s Furniture & Appliances, before continuing to Kealia.

On completion of this phase of the path, Pascual said the next phase will bring the path to Lihu’e, with those plans still being worked on.

The groundbreaking ceremony yesterday marked the seven-month point in the 18-month contract awarded in May. Some of the early planning involved community meetings, said Mary Daubert, county public information officer.

The Kapa’a-to-Kealia phase of the path is 4.3 miles, from Lihi Park on the Lihu’e side of the Waika’ea Canal near Pono Kai Resort, to an area north of Kealia Beach at Ahini Point, an area commonly referred to as Donkey Beach.

It will be up to 12 feet wide in some places, and include an equestrian (horse) path as well as the pedestrian and bike path.

The first phase, a path around Lydgate Park, was build by employees of Kauai Builders.

The third phase will be from Lydgate Park to Lihi Park, and is in the final planning stages now, with county officials looking to hire a design consultant, Daubert said.

The fourth phase is from Ahukini to Lydgate. A draft environmental assessment is being prepared for that portion, she said.

The fifth phase will be from Kealia to Anahola, and the sixth phase will be from Nawiliwili to Ahukini.

“Ke Ala Hele Makalae” means “The path to walk or go along the coast,” Daubert said.

  • Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com. Associate Editor Paul C. Curtis contributed to this report
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