Construction project ongoing on Weke Road

  • Photo by Terry Lilley / Special to The Garden Island

    Barriers to keep silt from moving into the ocean float near the pier in Hanalei Bay, part of the ongoing construction project on Weke Road.

  • Photo by Terry Lilley / Special to The Garden Island

    Yellow barriers float near the pier in Hanalei Bay, left, as part of the ongoing construction project on Weke Road.

HANALEI — The yellow barriers floating in Hanalei Bay are part of the ongoing Weke Road rebuilding project, which is aiming to fix the road and shoreline near Black Pot Beach Park after April floods and then lingering rains from Hurricane Lane damaged the area.

A University of Hawaii study showed erosion at Black Pot Beach of up to 12 feet in some areas and that April’s flooding brought 70,000 cubic yards of sand into the area.

The project, expected to cost at least a million dollars, should be completed by late 2019 if everything stays on track. It includes dredging in the Hanalei Bay, and that’s the stage the project is in now.

“The yellow barriers around the dredging site are silt curtains, and their purpose is to minimize silt migrating out of the work area,” said Lyle Tabata, acting county engineer.

The sand dredged from the bay will be added to a layering of geo-fabric and rocks meant to be resistant to erosion, to rebuild Weke Road, the only land route in and out to Black Pot Beach Park.

“As part of the rebuilding projects, the county is working to restore the elevations of Weke Road and the shoreline to what they were prior to the flood in April,” Tabata said. “This action is intended to restore the dynamics of the Hanalei River and Waioli Stream floodplain to be similar to how it was prior to the flood.”


Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or

  1. Suzan Kelsey Brooks September 8, 2018 6:58 am Reply

    Plainly, “restoring the elevations, etc” to “what they were” in April is not adequate preparation for the next flooding event on this rainy island. Does anyone ever learn anything? Does anyone remember the well-meaning dredging of Morgan Ponds that resulted in a pit of silt soup from which that recreational spot had never fully recovered before the April rains? Is Hanalei Bay going to suffer the same fate? Is there a point where Nature has a lasting say in where our egos and money lead us to build…and rebuild…and stubbornly seek to rebuild?

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