Drivers Face Delays

Scott Ishikawa
Scott Ishikawa

WAIKANE STREAM BRIDGE (KHNL) -- More delays this afternoon for Windward O'ahu drivers, as the clean up from the big rain continues. KHNL News 8's Mary Simms is live with an update from the Kahalu'u and Punalu'u districts.

In the past two days crews dug out more than 20 tons of debris clogging 3 major windward stream bridges. Its a necessary inconvenience drivers in the area say they are willing to put up with.

For drivers, this is just a pretty, wooded stream. But for residents, it can be "the enemy." Only 6 inches above sea level, it doesn't take much for the Waikane stream to overflow.

"The concern we have is that if the bridge dams up its not only going to wash out the bridge its also going to flood out the nearby homes," said Dept. Of Transportation Spokesman Scott Ishikawa.

Rain over the past few days has Windward residents concerned.

"It doesn't have to rain on the shoreline it could rain in the mountain bringing all the stuff downstream so we'd rather take preventative measures while we have the sunny weather."

Tuesday; a repeat performance. The crews were out in the rain Monday night, too.

"We took some gas for doing the work during rush hour but we felt that if we didn't clean up the bridge that we would have problems if there was another hard rain, and it did rain last night."

Daytime drivers were more understanding.

"Absolutely. Yes, I am," said Ka'aawa resident Irene Theofanis.

"I own the Shrimp Shack in Punalu'u so this is the road that everyone needs to take to get to the Shrimp Shack, the yellow one -- so the road has to be open."

"It's good for the community here. It helps them out, you don't want to sleep wet," added Laie resident Kalili Alaiasa.

The Department of Transportation says its aware of the drainage problems and tries to maintain each stream bridge along the Windward coast at least once every other week.