Kuhio Highway Emergency Repairs – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When is the road going to reopen?

HDOT estimates that the slope stabilization and roadway repairs needed to safely open Kūhiō Highway between Waikoko and Wainiha to two-way traffic will be substantially complete by the end of April 2019.  A date for ceasing of the convoy operation has not yet been set.  Work on the Wai‘oli, Waipa and Waikoko Bridges is targeted for completion by early summer 2019.

  1. Why are the road repairs taking so long?

The April 2018 flood caused significant damage to approximately 32 areas on Kuhio Highway and set the nationwide 24-hour rainfall total.[1] HDOT committed to repairing the areas where the highway was washed away as well as doing slope stabilization to improve the dependability of the route in the future.

  1. Why can’t residents have free access to the road when construction stops for the night?

Convoy operations through the various construction zones, especially those involving stabilization of slopes above and below the highway, require escort for the safety of those travelling the road. There are many areas where the speed limit has been reduced and the road has been weight restricted for safety and to ensure no further damage to the roadway. Running the convoys ensures that motorists traverse the road safely and do not cause additional damage. HDOT is continuing to explore options to increase service to the community while keeping available resources in mind.

  1. How can residents obtain passes?

Resident placards, work passes, and shuttle passes are verified and distributed by the County of Kauai Planning Department. More information on the needed identification for passes can be found at https://www.kauai.gov/Government/Departments-Agencies/Emergency-Management-Agency-formerly-Civil-Defense/April-2018-Flooding

  1. Are non-residents allowed to walk or bike past the checkpoint?

No. Only authorized individuals and vehicles are permitted to enter past the road closure for safety reasons.

  1. Are tourists able to access North Kauai landmarks such as the Haena State Park, the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park, Kee Beach, and Tunnels?

Haena State Park and the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park were damaged in the April flood and remain closed. Please refer to the Department of Land and Natural Resources https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/kauai/napali-coast-state-wilderness-park/ for more information. Access to Kee Beach and Tunnels is not permitted for unauthorized individuals as they are past the road closure.

  1. I am a TVR owner. The road closure is hurting my ability to operate my vacation rental. What can I do?

The U.S. Small Business Administration authorized Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for the April Flood. EIDLs are meant to help small businesses meet the ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be fulfilled because of the disaster. The EIDL filing deadline is March 27, 2019. More information on this program can be found at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations/ViewDisasterDocument/1679

  1. Will there still be road work ongoing when the road reopens?

Depending on the work requirements there may be lane closures with alternating traffic control after the road is reopened.

  1. Who can I contact to report uncovered work trucks or other construction-related issues?

Please call our 24-hour project hotline at (808) 230-0796 or toll-free at 1 (800) 722-9012. Project related emails may be sent to [email protected] or [email protected]

[1] The April 2018 flood, which brought nearly 50 inches of rain in a 24-hour period to Kauai (based on Waipa rain gage data from April 14-15 of 49.69 inches), potentially sets the national rainfall record previously set by a 43-inch rainfall total in Alvin, Texas. See https://www.nws.noaa.gov/oh/hdsc/record_precip/record_precip_us.html