Smoothing out the bumps

LIHUE — The drive along a disputed Princeville road may become a little smoother by the end of the week as road crews patch up one of the bumpier parts of Ka Haku Road leading to the St. Regis Princeville Resort. 

That repaving work, along a 700-foot section of Ka Haku Road near the Wyllie Road intersection, is being funded by The Resort Group and Discovery Land Company, which owns that particular portion of the 2.3-mile road that stretches from Kuhio Highway to the St. Regis Princeville Resort. 

Those two companies unveiled joint plans in November to build out a private 8,000-acre, 350-unit residential community, called the Princeville at Hanalei, over the next decade. 

Rory Enright, general manager of the Princeville at Hanalei Community Association, said he was notified of the planned roadwork last week and called the decision a big move toward resolving a longstanding fracas over who is responsible for maintaining certain portions of the privately owned road.  

“It’s definitely a big first step in resolving it,” Enright said by phone on Tuesday. “That’s one of the sections they own, so we’re very happy. It was, actually, the part that was in the worst condition.” 

The Resort Group spokeswoman Pauline Yoshihashi said the road work officially kicked off on Monday and is expected to be completed by Friday.

“The roadwork, which is being done by Grace Pacific, LLC, includes the ‘cold planing’ or removal of the old asphalt and base material, and replacing it with new base material and asphalt paving,” Yoshihashi wrote in an email.

“It’s major good news for us, because even though it’s a really small piece, it’s a major corridor in Princeville and it was in dangerous condition,” said Enright, who noted that the section of road being repaired carries about 10,000 vehicles a day, or 5,000 cars in each direction. “It’s our main artery and it really is important, so we’re very happy to see that Discovery Land Company and The Resort Group have volunteered to fix it.” 

Lane closures will take place from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily until Friday. Ka Haku Road, however, will remain open to traffic after work daily. 

Plans are also in place to upgrade two additional sections of Ka Haku Road owned by the Princeville at Hanalei Community Association between the Wyllie Road and Pepelani Loop intersections within the next year, Enright said.

Those repairs, he said, could cost about $500,000 to $700,000 and would be funded by those homeowners who pay dues to the Princeville at Hanalei Community Association. 

The Resort Group Founder Jeff Stone could not be reached as of press time on Tuesday.

Princeville resident Gregg Kravitz, who helped organize a rally in January along Ka Haku Road to fix it, said he is glad something is finally being done.

“I think everybody in the entire Princeville community is excited about the fact that Jeff Stone and Discovery Land Company stepped forward, and between the two of them, decided to help pave the road that some 10,000 cars a day use,” Kravitz said. “Everybody is exceedingly excited about the fact that they stepped up and put that together — I think it’s very neighborly.” 

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