Friday, May 27, 2022 |
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WAILUA — When one lane of the new Wailua Cane Haul Bridge opens for traffic later this month or in early April, it will be the beginning of the expanded traffic flow pattern planned for the Wailua corridor, according to a state news release.
When all work is complete, there will be four lanes of traffic on Kuhio Highway from Kuamo‘o Road to the southern entrance of the temporary Kapa‘a bypass road, two northbound and two southbound, said Department of Transportation Chief of Communications Daniel Meisenzahl.
In addition, all power lines will be undergrounded from the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative Lydgate substation to the southern end of the bypass road, and a traffic signal will be installed on Kuhio Highway at Lani Kai Street. Once the traffic light is in operation, the timing of all three signals in the Wailua corridor will be coordinated for maximum flow, Meisenzahl said.
When the project is complete, left turns will no longer be allowed from the south end of Papaloa Road onto the highway, Meisenzahl said.
A deceleration lane will also be installed just north of the new Wailua Cane Haul Bridge to allow northbound motorists to easily turn right into the Wailua Beach parking area.
Though no firm start date has been established yet for the highway widening and power line undergrounding work, DOT engineers hope to begin in December, Meisenzahl said. The project is expected to take 18 months.
Wailua Cane Haul Bridge
Work on the Wailua Cane Haul Bridge is nearing completion, with one lane of the new prefabricated steel bridge that replaced the old bridge scheduled to open later this month or early April.
The 12-foot wide multi-use path, lined with colorful gecko imprints, is adjacent to the new cane haul bridge, both sweeping up and over the Wailua River mouth, affording an overlook of the river and the Hikinaakala heiau, the release states.
Additional work has included retrofitting county sewer lines and there are plans to repave the highway from Kuamo‘o Road to the Aloha Beach Hotel. Also, preventative maintenance work will take place on the existing Wailua River Bridge that is part of the highway.
Construction in this section of Kuhio Highway is anticipated to be completed by July 2011.
The next phase of improving traffic flow through the Wailua corridor will entail making Kuhio Highway approximately 8 to 15 feet wider between Kuamo‘o Road and the south entrance to the temporary Kapa‘a bypass road. This will allow for an additional lane of southbound traffic and the eventual elimination of contra flow in that area.
Utility line undergrounding work will include drilling transversely (diagonally) from the Coco Palms parking lot approximately 75 feet beneath the bottom of Wailua River, to the makai side of the road past the Aloha Beach Hotel, for placement of a 36-inch diameter tube that will hold the utility lines.
“Undergrounding power lines hardens our electric system so that it is less apt to be damaged by severe weather. It’s also better for our endangered seabirds, and clearly safer for motorists,” Meisenzahl said.
Widening of the highway will also entail removing Ironwood trees on the makai side of the Kuamo‘o Road/Kuhio Highway intersection and moving mauka the traffic signal on that southwest corner fronting Smith’s Kaua‘i reservations office.
“We know highway construction work can be challenging at times for the driving public, and we appreciate everyone’s cooperation and patience,” Meisenzahl said. “Once both of these projects are done, it will be a much safer and improved drive through the entire Wailua corridor.”
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