LIHUE — Over 100 people attended a blessing at Kalena Park on Friday to celebrate a $15.1 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“This grant, awarded to the County of Kauai in 2015 by our federal partners, will be for the Lihue Town Core Mobility and Revitalization Project, which will encourage a more walkable, healthy and active community, and create additional economic opportunity for Kauai,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “This highly competitive grant would not be possible without our community, county, state and federal partners.”
Pastor Vil Galiza of the Aloha Church added a dollar to the traditional blessing elements of salt, oil and water, noting the promise of economic growth for the areas surrounding Rice Street, including the addition of a church.
The county was successful in obtaining the grant, receiving notification of the successful grant application in October 2015. The county is working with the Federal Highways Administrationand state partners in implementing the grant.
Project components include the Eiwa Street transit hub, Rice Street improvements for all users, safer pedestrian crossings, dedicated on-street parking, and a business-friendly environment; Hoala and Kalena Street sidewalks to connect Lihue Court Townhomes and Kaniko‘o Senior Housing to education, work, shopping and services; Hoolako Street (to Kaana Street) bicycle and pedestrian improvements to connect Vidinha Stadium with neighborhoods and the town core; the civic center shared use path; and Puaole and Malae streets bicycle boulevard to complete a safe route parallel to Rice Street.
A design-build contract has been awarded to Kiewit Infrastructure West. Construction is anticipated to start in January, with a lot of the project finished by December 2019, states a county release.
The County of Kauai will fund an additional $2 million for the project to include the Eiwa Street transit hub to improve bus service.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.