Proposed bike path segment to be discussed

The proposed construction of the longest leg of a multi-phased, 16-mile-plus bicycle and pedestrian pathway in East Kaua‘i that will be the only one of its kind in Hawai‘i when completed, will be discussed during an informational meeting scheduled at the Lydgate Park Pavilion on Tuesday, May 23.

At a meeting scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., a consultant and county officials will provide information on possible road alignments identified in a draft environmental assessment for an 8-mile section from Ahukini to Lydgate Park.

The project is one segment of an overall plan to build a pathway from Nawiliwili Harbor in Lihu‘e to Anahola.

Representatives for Merle D. Grimes, the consultant, will also discuss the planned work for this next phase and give an overview of the entire 16-mile-plus recreational project.

The meeting will be opened for answers and questions, Roxanne MacDougall, a public communication project consultant on the proposed work, said in a news release.

The meeting will be the third public meeting on a draft environmental assessment for this phase, MacDougall said.

Merle D. Grimes has been contracted by the Kaua‘i County Public Works Department to evaluate alternative alignments.

The options include putting the pathway near the coastline or immediately east of Kuhio Highway or putting parts of the project on the mountain side of the highway, MacDougall said.

No alignment, however, has been selected at this time, she said.

Information on this phase can be found on the county’s Web site, www.kauai.gov/bikepath. aspx.

The first phase, a 2-mile leg at Lydgate Park, was designed by MDG and has been completed.

Jas W. Glover won a county contract and has been building a second leg of the bicycle and pedestrian project, a 4.3- mile segment from Lihi Park by the Pono Kai Resort in Kapa‘a northward to Ahiki Point, which is commonly known as Donkey Beach.

Another three phases are planned.

The entire project is being built with up to $30 million in federal funds, with a promise of more federal funds coming to the county with financial contributions or donation of lands for the entire coastline project.

Wailua resident Glenn Mickens has offered the stiffest opposition to the project, contending the federal funds should not be used for a recreational project but should instead be used to build more roads to alleviate long-standing traffic problems in the Waipouli and Kapa‘a area.

Mayor Bryan Baptiste has led the charge to have the entire coastline project built, partly to protect public access as more residential resorts go up in East Kaua‘i.

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