Bicycle path at Papaloa delayed by 2 months

WAILUA — Tenants at Kinipopo Shopping Village are saying a gross mistake has delayed construction of the section of multi-use path behind the shopping center for several weeks, potentially hurting some of the businesses due to construction work and workers hogging the majority of the area’s parking spots.

“My understanding is that there has been an error that has been corrected,” Kaua‘i County Councilman Tim Bynum said. “Who is responsible? I don’t know.”

The contractor apparently poured a portion of the cement path at Papaloa Road at a lower level, causing a six-week hiatus in the project. When the project was restarted, the contractor had to repour cement on top of the already-finished work, according to some shopping center’s tenants.

The county declined to comment on the issue, citing a scenario of possible contract disputes, but said work is postponed until next year.

“The progress of this project and any potential delays may lead to contract disputes in the future and as such the county is declining to discuss these matters at this time,” County spokeswoman Mary Daubert said in an email to The Garden Island, responding to whether the contractor made a mistake, and if there was one, which was it and how long would it delay the project.

While not confirming a mistake, Daubert said the original completion date for the project was Oct. 15, 2012. The scheduled date is almost two months overdue, and work at Papaloa Road is being postponed until after the holidays, according to Daubert.

But one of the business owners at Kinipopo, who wished not to be identified, said he was told construction at Papaloa was supposed to be completed in August, which almost jives with what county Parks and Recreation Lenny Rapozo told the Kaua‘i County Council at a meeting Sept. 5.

During that meeting, Rapozo said construction of the path at Wailua Beach would commence mid-September, right after construction at Papaloa was supposed to end. But Rapozo also told the council that the county was behind schedule.

Despite declining to comment on details of the delay at Papaloa — and even on the existence of such delay — Daubert wrote “No cost to the county,” to a question as to how much the construction mistake would cost the administration.

The county also declined to release the cost of the portion of the multi-use path at Papaloa, including all land acquisitions, reconstruction and/or relocation of private property (condominium parking lots, trash can and propane tank enclosure), legal fees and construction.

“These costs are not isolated in the construction contract,” Daubert said.

Some business owners were upset because construction took precious parking stalls at Papaloa Road. Additionally, construction workers would park their vehicles all day at the shopping center’s small parking lot, causing customers to drive around in vain looking for a stall before leaving frustrated, according to at least one business owner.

Another business owner, who also wished not to be identified, said despite the construction, there was more foot traffic and business during this past summer compared to the summer in 2011.

Daubert said the county has no knowledge of area business being financially hurt, and since the administration is unaware of such facts, it is unable to comment about it.

While there might be mixed opinions among business owners as to impacts of construction, all of the business owners who spoke said the path, when finished, will be an asset and will likely increase business.

Daubert said repaving parts of Papaloa Road is also part of the current contract with the construction company, which is the same one that is building the Kawaihau Spur at the north end of Kapa‘a.

Meanwhile, the path’s route connecting Papaloa Road to Lihi Park in Kapa‘a is still not set in stone. The final route is still under a supplemental Environmental Assessment, according to Daubert.

“We are currently in the consultation process so the planned route may be changed,” Daubert said of that portion of the path.

Current plans show that at the north end of Papaloa Road the path would turn toward the shore through a strip between Kaua‘i Sands hotel and Coconut MarketPlace, then follow the coast north until right before the Bullshed Restaurant. From there the path would go back to Kuhio Highway for a couple blocks, turn right toward Niulani Street and work its way to the oceanfront Moanakai Road to finally connect with Lihi Park.

Bynum said the portion of the path recently built at the Safeway parking lot is to provide access to Kaua‘i Shopping Village and to Waipouli Town Center. Although the past administration has considered to route the path behind Foodland, the current plans are to keep it near the coast he said.

“I applaud the mayor’s decision to keep the path makai of the highway,” Bynum said of Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.

• Léo Azambuja, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or lazambuja@

This article has been corrected from the original version. Tim Bynum quote should state that he applauds mayor’s decision to keep the path makai of the highway, rather than mauka.


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