LIHU‘E — The community is invited to attend an information meeting about the project now underway to construct a bridge for vehicles and pedestrians to cross over Keahua Stream. This location is at the end of Kuamo‘o Road, at the Keahua Arboretum in the Lihu‘e-Koloa State Forest Reserve. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 29 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Kapa‘a Middle School, 4867 Olohena Rd.
The Department of Land and Natural Resources Kaua‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife and experts involved in the project will share a presentation on the purpose of the bridge, planned construction, the environmental assessment process and explain why this type and design of bridge construction is appropriate for this project.
Contractor Mocon Corporation was selected to install a vehicular bridge and new roadway alignment. The bridge will have an adjacent pedestrian path. Also planned is installation of bridge abutment footings and walls, and drainage culvert with inlet and outlet.
Work is expected to be complete in early 2017 barring any delays, such as due to weather. Project cost is approximately $2.5 million.
No long road closures are expected since at least one traffic lane will remain open; however, there may be temporary closures.
Currently the existing roadway crosses a stream that vehicles cross. The new bridge will provide a safer route during high water events so cars will no longer be stranded by high water if they are on the mauka side of the river. Cars have been washed out trying to cross the existing ford during flash flooding. There has been a reported death from someone trying to cross the river during a high water event as well.
“Many visitors don’t realize the power of the stream when it floods. This poses safety issues for first responders if they need to rescue someone,” said Sheri S. Mann, DOFAW Kaua‘i District Manager.
“Once the new bridge is completed it will allow for safe access to a new parking lot that will relieve the overflow from the Kuilau trailhead and allow safe crossing for vehicles and forest users during high water events,” she said. “A lot of people use the arboretum/loop road area for exercising and the new bridge will allow them to safely access the site year round.”
She explained that the bridge is not being built to allow for logging/harvesting of forest products from the area. Any future forest reserve management or harvest will be done via the old sugar cane route that leads back to Lihu‘e town. The bridge will also allow safe access for any future management activities for DOFAW staff and contractors aimed at invasive species control and other land management needs.
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