KAPAA — An informational meeting on the current bridge construction project over Keahua Stream at the Keahua Arboretum is scheduled Tuesday at Kapaa Middle School.
The meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. provides an opportunity for people to discuss the project with the Department of Land and Natural Resources Kauai Division of Forestry and Wildlife, as well as others involved in the project.
The new bridge will provide a safer route during high water events, so cars will no longer be stranded by high water if they are on the mauka side of the river, according a DLNR press release.
Cars have been washed out trying to cross the ford during flash flooding, and it has resulted in a death, the release said.
“A lot of people use the arboretum-loop road area for exercising, and the new bridge will allow them to safely access the site year-round,” said Sheri Mann, DOFAW Kauai district manager. “Many visitors don’t realize the power of the stream when it floods. This poses safety issues for first responders if they need to rescue someone.”
The project is expected to be completed in early 2017 and the cost is estimated at $2.5 million. No long road closures are expected because at least one traffic lane will remain open, according to the release.
Mocon Corporation is the contractor selected to install the bridge, which will be a vehicular bridge with an adjacent pedestrian bridge. The contractor will also install some new road alignment.
A drainage culvert with inlet and outlet and the installation of bridge abutment footings and walls are also planned.
Mann said the bridge is not being built to allow for logging or harvesting of forest products from the area and any future forest reserve management or harvest will be done using the old sugar cane route that leads back to Lihue.
“Once the new bridge is completed, it will allow for safe access to a new parking lot that will relieve the overflow from the Kuilau trailhead and allow safe crossing for vehicles and forest users during high water events,” Mann said.
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