Engineers Give Green Light to Highway Construction on Kauai - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Engineers Give Green Light to Highway Construction on Kauai

Rod Haraga points to the work area on a map of Kauai Rod Haraga points to the work area on a map of Kauai
Kuhio highway makai of the Ka Loko dam break Kuhio highway makai of the Ka Loko dam break

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Some good news for those on the North Shore of Kauai.  

The state plans to temporarily repair Kuhio Highway, so it can return to two lanes of traffic and could be re-opened by the end of the week.

A 30-foot stretch was destroyed when the Ka Loko dam burst two weeks ago, cutting off the North Shore from the rest of the island. It's been a one land contraflow since then.

"That's gonna be really good for our residents that can go back and forth and our tourists," said Rod Haraga, director of the state Dept. Of Transportation.

The plan is to remove the steel plates, and repave the damaged area.

Originally, this work could've taken several months, because of the unstable ground around the highway. But engineers have given it the green light.

"That ground is very, very compact," said Haraga. "That gives us the confidence that that highway will remain okay with light traffic loads, not with heavy traffic loads, just vehicular loads like cars."

Haraga says the road will still have to be contraflowed for large trucks to pass, but a traffic signal will be installed, and police will be there to help direct drivers.

Work was scheduled to start Tuesday night, but has been delayed because of rain.

Haraga says once repairs start, the road will need to be shut down on night, to completely repave the road.

He says a permanent fix should start in about a month.

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