Maui News

Disaster Proclamation Issued for Kaumuali’i Highway

July 26, 2012, 9:37 AM HST
* Updated July 26, 9:41 AM
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From July 16 to 19, waves eroded approximately15 feet of the highway shoulder. Photo courtesy the Department of Transportation.

By Reid Cairme  (***Reid is a news/media intern, from Kamehameha Schools – Maui.  Edited by Wendy Osher, News Director)

Governor Neil Abercrombie signed a disaster proclamation authorizing emergency repairs to Kaumuali’i Highway on Kauai’i.  The repairs are aimed at preventing the imminent collapse of the highway as the result of wave erosion.

The soil foundation adjacent to a section of Kaumuali’i Highway in the Kekaha area, located on the southwest shore of Kaua’i, sustained significant  erosion damage caused by waves.  From July 16 to 19, waves eroded approximately 15 feet of the highway shoulder. 

Authorities say continual wave action will undermine the highway pavement and the sewer force main running beneath the highway, necessitating the immediate repair and reconstruction.

This section of Kaumuali’i Highway is a two-lane highway and the only route providing access to the west end of Kaua’i, the county landfill, wastewater treatment plant and the Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands.

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“The Closure of Kaumuali’i Highway for an extended period of time, as well as the potential loss of the sewer force main in the highway, poses a danger to
the health, safety and welfare of the people and local economy,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “Prompt, expeditious action is necessary to assure the safety of the
public.”

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