Delayed project moving along

  • Photo courtesy County of Kauai

    April’s rains caused flooding that damaged a portion of Kahiliholo Road in Kilauea.

KILAUEA — Tropical Storm Lane delayed plans to fix a sinkhole under Kahiliholo Road, where April floods washed a large portion of the road away. Work should now start in the second week of October.

That’s according to county officials, who said in August the project was set to start at the beginning of September.

“The work to award the project and issue the contract was delayed due to staff being otherwise occupied with field damage assessments and other work related to Hurricane Lane,” said acting county engineer Lyle Tabata.

The county also extended the advertising time for the project because of Hurricane Lane, which turned into a tropical storm just as it passed by and dropped heavy rains in August.

In addition to weather, Tabata says it took longer than anticipated to get final approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to advertise the project.

Bid opening on the project happened Aug. 29, and the lowest bid was Earthworks Pacific Inc. A notice of award was issued to the contractor. The contract is being reviewed and will then be executed, with a notice to proceed anticipated to be issued in October.

The total contract amount is $1.8 million, and the work will be initially paid for by state funds.

The project is being evaluated for FEMA public assistance, which means it would be eligible for 75 percent reimbursement from the federal agency.

“We anticipate that it will be approved. Once approved, the reimbursement will take place after the project is complete,” Tabata said.

A corrugated metal pipe washed away in the April floods destroyed a large portion of the road and land surrounding the pipe.

The work includes demolition, excavation and backfill to remove damaged structures and install a precast, 8’ x 8’ reinforced concrete box culvert to replace the metal pipe, as the box culvert will be less susceptible to corrosion.

The project also includes installation of a drain inlet above the box culvert, installation of a guardrail and planting of grass throughout the disturbed area.

“The box culvert will be less likely to be damaged during a future flood event,” Tabata said.

The county generally does not use corrugated metal pipes anymore, especially in areas where water continually flows through the pipe, he said.

“The use of corrugated metal pipes was largely discontinued about 20 years ago, not long after Kahiliholo Road was constructed as part of the adjacent subdivision,” Tabata said.


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


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