KAHILI — A large sinkhole around a culvert under Kahili Road has triggered the closure of the dirt road access to the north side of the Kilauea River, an area that local residents have taken under their wing by forming the Kahili Community Stewardship Area.
The community stewardship group has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and County o Kauai to restore the historic Kahili Quarry and to improve access to Kahili Beach, also known as Rock Quarries.
That partnership resulted in major improvements to the dirt road in 2019 and increased usage of that road to access a dirt parking area for fishing, surfing and beachgoing.
But, March 2020 flash flooding carved the dirt out from under a culvert that crosses beneath the road, resulting in a sinkhole that has eroded under the road and left a sharp drop in its wake.
Last week, the Kaua‘i Department of Public Works announced the road closure and kicked off a project to fix the road and re-establish a safe access to that side of the beach.
A county spokesperson confirmed the project is in the “early stages of design and construction”, and there is no current timeline on when the road will be reopened.
“The scope of the work for the future, federally-funded project will involve environmental review, design, and construction to repair a culvert damaged by the March 2020 flood,” Public Works said in a press release about the closure, which does not affect homes in the area.