LIHU‘E — Spanning the section from the intersection of Rice Street on the west and Ahukini Road on the north, the Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Highway does not appear to be such a long roadway.
But factor in the rapidly warming Saturday-morning sun and the chore of picking up opala, and the roadway is not so short.
“We’ve got two crews,” said East Kaua‘i Lions Club Past President Janice Bond. “One team is doing the section north of the Kaua‘i Veterans Center to Ahukini Road. The other team is doing the section south to Rice Street.”
Donning special orange Adopt-A-Highway shirts for added visibility, the crews under direction of Cleanup Committee Chair Angel Acorda set out Saturday morning in an effort to complete the tasks of cleaning the highway shoulders of loose opala and beat the rising temperatures.
“It’s not so much what people can see,” said Lion John Baxter, who teamed with Lion Rebecca Carnate and wielded homemade trash pickers. “It’s what is underbrush that is blown in by the wind and passing cars. You would not imagine what kinds of things we found. There were some car mats with something dried, and traces of rice.”
Accumulated bags were piled neatly onto the shoulders for pick up by state crews this week.
While hosting a flag-waving event for Veterans Day, the EK Lions decided they would help the state Department of Transportation by doing a cleanup ahead of visitor arrivals for the holidays that start with Thanksgiving.
The Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Highway is the first roadway in the state dedicated to veterans. The dedication to change the portion of Kapule Highway was done in June 2017.
Similar to the Kaua‘i Veterans Center that sits about midway through the Kaua‘i Veterans Memorial Highway, the highway serves as a reminder of the sacrifices given up by veterans.
The state DOT Adopt-A-Highway program is a public-service program for volunteers to pick up litter along Hawai‘i’s highways, and is an opportunity for citizens to make contributions toward a cleaner Hawai‘i.
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or email@example.com.