Kapaa roundabout gets a facelift

LIHUE — People can’t wait to see the dolphins and honu in place, said Susan Pittman of Clayworks at Kilohana.

Pittman, along with her sisters Joi Labok and Linn Ellingson, created the three dolphins and two honu scheduled to be included in the beautification project of the Kapaa roundabout.

The creations were inspected by Bob Bartolo of the Kapaa Business Association and Craig Duff of the Kauai Nursery and Landscaping.

“We’re getting close to getting the beautification project started,” Bartolo said. “The KBA has received a grant for the State Department of Transportation Enhancement Program. Planning for this project started three years ago, and now, we’re getting close.”

Bartolo said the county is working to complete the state DOT use permit, which means it will take responsibility for the roundabout.

KBA, with the help of students from the Kapaa Middle School, will take on the chore of maintenance. Duff said students are involved in the project by collecting blue and green glass for recycling, which was ground by Garden Isle Disposal.

“The project cost is in the neighborhood of $20,000,” Bartolo said. “KBA is currently filing application through the Transportation Enhancement Program through its Landscaping and Scenic Beautification categories.”

KNL contributed the design for the roundabout beautification and includes the use of colored blue and green recycled glass to lay on the mortared weed barrier in the center of the roundabout. During construction, the KBA will work with the county on traffic control, Bartolo said.

“It will have the look of gentle ocean waves,” Bartolo said. “Dolphins jumping from the waves were created by Clayworks at Kilohana.”

Labok said it took the work of the three sisters to come up with the final pieces.

“We wanted it to look like no other sculpture people have seen,” Labok said. “Linn, the mixologist at Clayworks at Kilohana, came up with her own mix for the glazing. Hopefully, when motorists see the completed project, it’ll make them slow down so they can enjoy it.”

Bartolo said the project is eligible for federal assistance of up to 80 percent of the project cost. The remaining 20 percent match for the project cost has been covered by individual and community organizations.

The Rotary Club of Kapaa, a Kauai Recycling Solid Waste Program grant, and the KBA contributed $1,000 each toward the project.

“KBA would like to get the community involved once the design is ready to be implemented,” Bartolo said.

People interested in participating in the beautification project can contact Bartolo at Bobbartolo43@gmail.com.

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