LIHUE — Gov. Neil Abercrombie remembers being stuck in traffic as a result of the Kapule Highway Resurfacing project during his last visit to Kauai.
Thursday, Gov. Abercrombie was joined by other government dignitaries, Ray Skelton, director of Operations for Goodfellow Brothers and Rev. Ipo Kahaunaele-Ferreira of Ke Akua Mana Church in celebrating the completion of the resurfacing project.
“This represents contemporary transportation for the 21st century without losing sense of what Kauai is about,” Abercrombie said. “You cannot come to Kauai without slowing down and your sense of well-being rising.”
The Kapule Highway resurfacing project, spanning the distance between Ahukini Road in Lihue and Kuhio Highway in Hanamaulu, improved more than 1.3 miles of roadway, replacing four inches of asphaltic concrete with four inches of ultra-thin whitetopping concrete. Based on current traffic, the new surface is more durable and expected to last up to 30 years with proper maintenance.
The state Department of Transportation states current average daily traffic on this corridor is 35,000 vehicles with 3 percent truck traffic.
Representatives for both U.S. Senator Brian Schatz and U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard congratulated officials on the completion of the job, Clyde Kodani, representing Schatz, saying the project not only improved the island’s infrastructure, it created local jobs.
“This is a testiment to the successes which can be achieved when government works together for the people,” said Kaulana Finn, representing Gabbard.
Skelton, director of operations for Goodfellow Brothers, the general contractor, noted how 10 subcontractors worked together with Goodfellow Brothers to complete the $6.2 million federal aid project, which included the addition of bike lanes on both sides of the paved roadway.
Under the federal aid project, the federal government covered 80 percent with the state contributing 20 percent, and $14,000 contributed by the local utility company.
“This is a good example of working together,” Skelton said. “Goodfellow Brothers employees put in more than 25,000 hours, affecting some 46 local families. We also used more then 3,500 yards of UTW concrete. This is not about making a buck. It’s about our employees, our suppliers, and when everything is done, we hope we made friends.”
• Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.