KEALIA — Roundabout use at the intersection of Kuhio Highway and Mailihuna Road intersection has partially opened, eliminating access to the temporary Kapa‘a Stream Bridge.
The full roundabout, with exits south to Kapa‘a and north toward Hanalei opened at noon on Tuesday, allowing vehicles unobstructed makai and mauka access from the highway to Mailihuna Road.
A Hawai‘i Department of Transportation spokesperson said intermittent closures may be occasional as more of the project is completed.
Between 2006 and 2010, 17 crashes were reported on or near this area. Updating the regular intersection to a roundabout is one means of enhancing vehicle and foot traffic by Kealia Beach.
Kent Phelps, a project inspector with Bowers + Kubota, said some safety features of the roundabout include a truck apron and middle vegetation with palm trees acts as a wall that helps to slow down traffic. Phelps said the project is about 80% finished, with additional work being to clear out the old temporary bridge and clean up the area.
This Central Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration in cooperation with the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation project really got going in 2020. The temporary bridge opened last April as a means to detour traffic.
The construction is of a two-lane single-span 190-foot long concrete bridge with 42.5 feet deck width. It upgrades the defunct 150 feet long by 38.5 feet wide bridge.
It was previously reported that this is one of 10 bridge projects to be delivered through a partnership between DOT and the Central Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration.
The project was awarded to Hawaiian Dredging Construction in 2019 for about $24 million. The project also updated an existing private driveway at the intersection.
The anticipated date for substantial completion is August 2021, a spokesperson said.