LIHUE — County of Kauai officials say rough portions of several highly traveled roads are scheduled to be smoothed out over the next two years as a part of a $3.5 million initiative to address those in most need.
Among those at the top of the list are Kawaihau Road in Kapaa, Maluhia Road in Koloa, Haleilio Road in Wailua Houselots, and Puhi Road, according to Department of Public Works documents.
But with close to 300 miles of county-maintained roads on Kauai, officials say more must be done to shorten the list of those that need repairs.
“Not only is it going to take awhile, but it’s going to be constantly deteriorating roads that are getting to a worse position, which will cost more money when we get to repaving it,” Kauai County Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura said.
Those road projects now on deck to be repaved over the next two years include a 0.66-mile section of Kawaihau Road in Kapaa from Kuhio Highway to Nunu Road; the entire 0.83-mile section of Maluhia Road in Koloa from Kaumualii Highway to Koloa Road; and a 0.09-mile section of Haleilio Road in Wailua Houselots from Makani Road to Kaulana Road.
About 80 percent of the costs for all three projects, said County Engineer Larry Dill, will be subsidized by the Federal Highway Administration. The remaining costs, meanwhile, will be paid by the county.
“We’re doing more with county funds, but still, it’s not enough, though,” Dill said.
The priority list for roads that need repaving was done by a consultant hired several years ago to develop a comprehensive survey detailing the conditions and remaining service life for each road, and providing recommended treatments.
“The more traffic on that road, the higher priority it is given as far as resurfacing is concerned,” Dill said. “The reality is we don’t have that exact data for all of our roads, so in a lot of cases, we had to make estimates based on local knowledge, if you will.”
Engineering Division employees, he added, are working on a program “to increase the amount of data that we have for all county roads, increasing our number of traffic counters and actually working on establishing a program to improve that data set.”
“For the very low-volume roads, it’s very difficult for them to rise on the priority list for islandwide resurfacing,” Dill said. “It’s difficult for those roads to rise to the top when we’re so far behind on our high-traffic roads to justify spending money on the low-volume roads.”
All told, about 5.22 miles will be worked on in the next two years.
In his budget message released last month, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said “the Department of Public Works has programmed to complete some short-term improvements to the most debilitated section between Kaneka Street and Hanalima Street within the next two months.”
Puu Kaa Street