Kahiliholo Road work on schedule

  • courtesy County of Kauai

    This photo shows the sinkhole alongside Kahiliholo Road, created during the flooding in April 2018.

KILAUEA — Recent rains didn’t damage or delay the rebuilding project on Kahiliholo Road and the project is on schedule, according to county officials.

“The placement of the precast concrete culvert segments was completed before the heavy rains came this week, and the current heavy flows of water are flowing through the new culvert,” said deputy engineer Lyle Tabata.

The plan is to have the road reopened on a temporary wearing surface by February.

April rains that flooded neighborhoods and businesses throughout Kauai destroyed part of Kahiliholo Road, causing a sinkhole that split the road in half.

Residents were out of power and water for hours before it was restored and they reported the sinkhole that rocked Kahiliholo left a 30-foot drop on either side of the pavement.

Around 180 people were impacted by the incident and have been navigating a mile-long detour road that gained a reputation for being pitted with potholes within a month. Residents have been using that road for access to Kuhio Highway for eight months.

Tabata said the Kahiliholo bypass, as it’s known, was last graded on Nov. 29 and county workers anticipate possibly going back in about three weeks.

The sinkhole happened around a culvert that had to be replaced, and Tabata said progress is ongoing on that project.

Left to be completed: pouring concrete to close gaps and openings in the precast culvert, replacing other drainage infrastructure for roadway drainage, backfilling the culvert area with soil to bring the roadway up to grade, reconnecting permanent utilities, and placing aggregate base course and a temporary wearing surface.

“When this is complete, the roadway will be able to be reopened to traffic,” Tabata said.

After that, county workers have to finish up the project by placing asphalt pavement wearing surface and replacing guardrails.

“Based on the current schedule, the Kahiliholo Road is still anticipated to be reopened on the temporary wearing surface by February 11, 2019,” Tabata said.


Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or at jelse@thegardenisland.com

  1. ikauai January 3, 2019 2:23 pm Reply

    “Kahiliholo Bypass Road”, why beat around the bush and just call it what it is: Kuawa Road? The old Guava Kai access road has endured the equivalent of 20 years traffic in the 9 months by being used by all of the Kalihiholo residents northwest of the washout and the shoulders of Kuawa Road have been deteriorated beyond belief and I hope that the County will leave “our driveway” better than it was before the flood!

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