Kapa‘a bypass reopens today

KAPA‘A — Motorists of Kaua‘i rejoice! The Kapa‘a temporary bypass has reopened.

Following a month-long closure, including a week delay, the state Department of Transportation has nearly completed work on the road, including repaving, fixing up the Kainahola Stream Bridge and other maintenance.

DOT spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said the contractor also built in rumble strips. These are essentially grooves in the road near the center line that alert drivers if their vehicles are close to crossing into oncoming traffic.

Work on the bypass road is expected to be completed Friday.

While workers have finished up paving on the Lihu‘e end of the bypass, they are still working on the north end near Otsuka’s Furniture & Accessories on Kuhio Highway. Other remaining work includes guardrail installation, striping, installation of raised pavement markers, dressing of shoulders and paving under guardrails.

Meisenzahl said the contractor worked through the weekend to finish as much as possible before the road is reopened to drivers.

“He is working 12- to 14-hour days to get the job done,” Meisenzahl said.

Beginning today, the contractor will work from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the south leg of the bypass, meaning one lane will be occupied. Traffic control will be in place and traffic will be contra flowed in the short construction areas, Meisenzahl said. 

“The roadway will be open and traffic will see minimal impacts from the contractor’s work,” District Engineer Raymond J. McCormick said in an email.

DOT began the project to repair the Kainahola Stream Bridge on the temporary bypass road on April 11, after an inspector noticed its soil foundation was settling and creating a dip in the road. DOT officials feared that it would eventually worsen and pose a risk to drivers. The road closed completely on April 25.

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