Hanalei Hill repairs on schedule

  • Laurel Smith / Special to The Garden Island

    A crew member cleans Kuhio Highway above the Hanalei Bridge before opening the road to traffic in an effort to help prevent accidents.

  • Laurel Smith / Special to The Garden Island

    Two crew members spray shotcrete on the final section of the wall in an attempt to stabilize a hill above Kuhio Highway and the Hanalei bridge. Weep poles used for drainage line the wall above them.

  • Laurel Smith / Special to The Garden Island

    Crews work on the 300-foot-wide and 60-foot-tall wall on the upper slope of Kuhio Highway above the Hanalei bridge, an area now known as Hanalei Hill. The first phase of the project is expected to conclude by the end of September, weather-permitting.

HANALEI — The North Shore convoy times will adjust slightly this week to accommodate opening of public schools on the island.

Beginning Wednesday, Aug. 4, the Wednesday-afternoon public-access schedule for Kuhio Highway above the Hanalei bridge, an area now known as Hanalei Hill, will shift to 30 minutes earlier. The new timetable will be from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., the state Department of Transportation announced.

The Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon opening will remain from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The shift on Wednesday afternoons aligns with the Hanalei School schedule for families picking up students during the ongoing highway and hill emergency repairs.

Weather-permitting, students and all other commuters will not need to schedule their travel in and out of Hanalei around the road-opening schedule for much longer.

Phase one emergency repairs are expected to conclude at the end of September, with some additional closures and night work. This will allow both lanes of the highway to reopen for the first time since the massive landslide buried the road on March 11, cutting off regular traffic on Kaua‘i’s North Shore.

As part of the emergency repairs, some 545, 40-foot-long soil nails, were installed to anchor a 300-foot-wide and 60-foot-tall wall to secure the upper slope.

This past Friday, crews were finishing up spraying shotcrete (sprayed concrete) to the wall. Work to remove rock and debris continues.

On the upper slope, drain mats and weep poles are already installed at anchors to allow for proper drainage. Installation of a drainage system to intercept water coming from the 19th-century water tunnel on the hillside will take place in the second phase of the project. Reinforced precast concrete arch sections will be installed within 100 feet of the tunnel because the stability of the tunnel is unknown.

Phase two of the project is still in the environmental and design phase. It will include the installation of a mesh and soil nail wall to stabilize the slope below the highway at mile marker 1.

The total cost for the emergency and permanent repairs is estimated at $24 million, though that number may change as phase two gets further along in the design process.

According to the DOT, the project is currently on time and on budget.

5 Comments
  1. Josh August 1, 2021 6:47 am Reply

    “According to the DOT, the project is currently on time and on budget.”
    And what is the time to completion date? Perhaps ask the DOT for all the Construction Phase Date milestones in a print ready format, so your readers can have that information.
    It’s real great when newspaper reporters ask follow up questions to those in charge. That way they are on record with specific statements – rather than allowing generalities and assumptions to fill the article.


  2. Enrique August 1, 2021 10:27 am Reply

    If the DOT was on it. They would provide 1 hour window only for cars providing pick up and drop off of Hanalei students so parents coming from Pville don’t have to spend hours in line with the tourists


    1. Kauaijane August 2, 2021 9:43 am Reply

      Or they could stay off the road and put their children on the public school bus. Why should I have to stay off the road to give them private access to and from Hanalei when there is a public transportation alternative my tax dollars have paid for?


  3. Hanalei Highway August 1, 2021 9:20 pm Reply

    I thought they originally said it was a 3 month job. I’m guessing they meant 3 years???


  4. David Kirk Swenson August 2, 2021 9:40 am Reply

    What’s with Princeville parents not sending their kids to school on the bus instead of adding themselves to the congestion.


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