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.