Letter for Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017

• County responded well to concerns

Kudos for key Kauai engineering personnel. They listened to my concerns about recent changes on Hauiki Road which, to me, resulted “in an accident just waiting to happen.”

Friends helped put me in contact with Mario Antonio by phone on Jan 15. I offered to meet with him or other senior personnel on site to explain my concerns and thoughts about a relatively simple fix which would dramatically reduce the risk.

If you drive up on Olohena Road from the traffic circle in Kapaa, you pass Kapaa Middle School and eventually come to Hauiki Road, which starts out northward past Twin Reservoirs and then splits into two branches, one to the left and one to the right. The left one is heavily traveled and leads to residential areas and farms of various sizes. The one on the right leads to what was to be the Kulana development before its financial collapse.

For years, the right branch of Hauiki was blocked off at the bottom by a string of water-filled barriers. The barrier they formed was rarely opened and then only for short times. Now Kulana seems to be coming back to life with some construction starting.

Good for our friends who bought lots in the early days and have been living in mortgage hell ever since. The barrier at the bottom was opened and reconfigured so traffic could more easily enter Kulana.

Therein was the scary problem. If two vehicles were coming south, one on each branch. Differences in pavement height and a brushy barrier between the two branches made it impossible for the driver of either vehicle to know about the other vehicle.

Mario forwarded my concerns to two other men who he said would have more direct control over the intersection in question, and suggested that they, in turn, call me.

I heard nothing more for the next few days, not too surprising given the county’s road-maintenance workload. Then, while returning from an errand in Kapaa town, I got a very welcome surprise. A work crew was just finishing returning the old barrier to where it had been sitting for years.

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, I received an email from Michale Moule, chief of engineering, summarizing what and why his crew had been doing.

Again, kudos for the prompt and decisive action.

John Love, Kapaa

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