Vetting Kapaa crawl solutions

KAPAA — Solutions to Kapaa’s traffic will be discussed Thursday at a public meeting hosted by the Kapaa Business Association.

Larry Dill, Kauai district engineer for the Hawaii Department of Transportation, will outline some of the projects that could improve vehicle flow.

“There’s hundreds of ideas on how to solve the problem with traffic. Everyone has their own solutions,” said Bob Bartolo, KBA vice president. “But there’s a reality of what can be done and what can’t.”

The meeting starts at 6 p.m at the Kapaa Library.

“The more people who show up, the more power we have to push and encourage DOT to act,” Bartolo said.

There are several traffic mitigation projects along the Kapaa and Wailua corridor that are being proposed by the Hawaii Department of Transportation. They are:

w Widening of Kuhio Highway from three to four lanes from Kuamoo Road to the southern end of the Kapaa Bypass. The approximate cost is $15 million.

w Widening of Kuhio Highway from Hanamaulu to Wailua from three lanes to four. The approximate cost is $25 million.

w Widening the Kapaa Bypass from the roundabout north to Kuhio Highway to two lanes. The cost is $20 to $25 million.

w Two county initiatives resulting from the Kapaa Transportation Solutions Study, which include extending Pouli Road to complete a connection from Kuhio Highway to the Kapaa Temporary Bypass and extending Eggerking Road to connect from the Wailua Houselots to the Kapaa Bypass.

The estimated costs for both projects are between $10 and $15 million.

Those projects were determined by the Kapaa Solutions Working Group consisting of state, county and community business representatives to determine low-cost solutions to address congestion in Kauai’s busiest corridor, said Timothy Sakahara, HDOT spokesman.

Other HDOT projects in Kapaa include:

w Widening Kuhio Highway between Kuamoo Road and Kapule Highway to four lanes. The estimated cost is $43 million. The project is in its planning and engineering phase.

w Kuhio Highway traffic signal optimization, which will modify traffic signal timing at the highway intersections of Kukui Street, Haleilio and Kuamoo roads to reduce wait time along Kuhio Highway. The approximate price tag is $1.1 million and is expected to begin by 2019.

“Capacity projects that take a lot of money and time aren’t the focus anymore,” Sakahara said.

“We’ve shifted to system preservation and making roads more efficient by completing projects like adding lanes and re-striping.”

Widening Kuhio Highway from Kuamoo to Kapaa Temporary Bypass is the top priority of the four projects and is expected to begin by 2020, he said.

For more information about Thursday’s meeting, email Bartolo at bobbartolo43@gmail.com.

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