HONOLULU — Governor Linda Lingle has released $2.4 million in state funds aimed at ensuring traffic flow through East and West Kaua’i.
The funds are being released at a time when more traffic gridlock is expected to occur with more development occurring on Kaua’i.
In a news release, Lingle noted: $1,665,000 will be used for retaining wall improvements on Kuamo’o Road, $500,000 will be used for the temporary Kapa’a Bypass Road and $212,000 will be used to upgrade guardrail and paved shoulders on Kuhio Highway.
“Governor Lingle and DOT officials visited Kaua’i in August, promising to move forward with certain projects to help get traffic moving and to make the roads safer,” state transportation director Rod Haraga said. “These projects are part of our ongoing efforts to fulfill that promise.”
Related to work on Kuamo’o Road, officials said retaining walls are too low and are showing signs of deterioration. Plans call for removing the walls and constructing tie-back systems for them and installing guardrails by mile post 1.1 on Kuamo’o Road, which leads to neighborhoods in Wailua Homesteads.
The total project cost is $1,885,000. Work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2006.
Related to work on Kuhio Highway, funds will be used to complete the construction of the temporary Kapa’a Bypass Road from Kuhio Highway to Olohena Road.
The work involves the installation of guardrails and end treatments, construction of pavement along parts of the road, reconstruction and/or widening of road sections, and installation of signs and striping from Olohena Road to Kuhio Highway.
The existing Kapa’a Temporary Bypass Road was constructed in 1995 to ease congestion along Kuhio Highway near Kapa’a Town.
It provides two-way traffic along two lanes around Waipouli and most of Kapa’a, and currently ends at Olohena Road, which is located in the middle of Kapa’a Town.
The current project will extend the temporary bypass from Olohena Road in a northerly direction to Kuhio Highway, thus completing the by-pass and providing a route that circumvents this congested length of Kuhio Highway, as well as reduce traffic on Olohena Road.
The total project cost is $6,045,000. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.
The funds released by Lingle also involve upgrading paved shoulders and guardrails on parts of Kuhio Highway as part of a DOT Guardrail and Shoulder Improvement Program, an annual statewide safety improvements program. The total project cost is $1,060,000. It is expected to be finished this summer.
Other Kaua’i road projects currently being designed include the creation of a fourth lane over the Wailua River Bridge, the widening of Kuhio Highway between Wailua River Bridge to the temporary Kapa’a Bypass Road, and the intersection improvements at Kapule and Kuhio Highways near Hanama’ulu Bridge.
Lingle and Kaua’i Mayor Bryan Baptiste helped bring together residents, concerned groups, organizations and business folks to help develop short-term road projects and to raise the projects in statewide priority, officials said.
A public meeting is scheduled on Kaua’i next month to discuss shortterm improvements along Kuhio Highway.