Kauai News

Menehune Road Remains Closed as Work Continues to Stabilize Slope Above

Posted January 12, 2022, 7:25 PM HST

A road blocked by a rockslide that cut off a Waimea community earlier this month will remain closed for roughly three weeks as crews work to stabilize the slope above.

Contractors will continue to work seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., until the slope is stabilized.

On Wednesday, Jan. 12, contractors utilized a lift and air hammer to remove additional high-risk rock and further stabilized slope edge atop the 60-foot cliff above Menehune Road. Work also included placement of concrete eco blocks to further secure the Waimea Swinging Bridge from further damage. Additional work to install measures to secure/protect the bridge is expected to be completed by Friday, Jan. 14. Slope stabilization activities will continue once the bridge is secure.

While repairs are underway, large, loose boulders continue to fall onto the roadway below. The public is reminded not to cross or approach the rockfall site at any time. Doing so could result in severe injury or death.

The State Department of Land and Natural Resources, DLNR, opened an alternate emergency access route from Waimea Canyon Drive, known as Panini Road. The Panini Road access is limited to local residents and first responders via 4×4 usage only. Motorists are urged to drive slowly and cautiously, as heavy machinery is in the area, and crews with DLNR are continuing to improve the road.

Courtesy of Kauaʻi County

Contractors continue to assess damage to Waimea Swinging Bridge. However, repair work to the bridge cannot begin until the slope is stabilized. Given the historic nature of the bridge, officials expect this to be a long-term repair project. Understanding that the pedestrian bridge is an important point of access to Makaweli residents, officials will continue to work with residents on continued needs. Makaweli residents requiring assistance are urged to contact the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency (KEMA) at 808-241-1800.

The Kekaha Ag Association, E Ola Mau Na Leo O Kekaha, Hawai‘i FoodBank – Kaua‘i Branch (HFB-Kaua‘i), and Kumano I Ke Ala organized a food distribution Tuesday, Jan. 11, for the affected residents in Waimea Valley.

Subsequent food distribution is planned for Friday, Jan. 14. If needed, further food distributions will take place with the continued closure of Menehune Road.

All utilities in the area have since been restored, including power, water, phone and cable/internet services.

KEMA continues to coordinate door-to-door wellness checks to residents along Menehune Road and on the Makaweli-side of the river. While the road remains fully closed, crews will continue wellness checks and needs assessments in this area, as well as provide daily updates online at www.kauai.gov/KEMA.

The County’s Agency on Elderly Affairs is conducting wellness checks specifically for kupuna in the area, age 60 and older. If you have a kupuna that has not yet been contacted by the Agency on Elderly Affairs, contact their office at 808-241-4470.

Residents are asked to leave their bagged trash in their refuse carts next Monday, Jan. 17, for early-morning pickup on Tuesday, Jan. 18.

For those without cans, leave bagged household waste in a covered trash receptacle at the side of the road immediately adjacent to your driveway. Trash receptacles must not exceed 50 pounds, and more than one covered receptacle may be used.

To ensure efficient pickup, double bag household trash and place it in county-issued refuse carts. Bulky items, green waste, and loose trash will not be collected at this time.

Officials continue to work with USPS officials to establish mail service. Updates will be provided once confirmed.

Families with school-aged children who have limited internet access were provided MiFi devices by the Department of Education to assist children with distance learning options during the road closure. If you have a school-aged child who needs assistance with distance learning options, contact KEMA at 808-241-1800.

If anyone in the affected area requires assistance during work hours, call the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency (KEMA) at 808-241-1800. After working hours, call Kaua‘i Police Dispatch at 808-241-1711. If you have an emergency and require immediate assistance, call 911.

Those wishing to provide services or resources are asked to coordinate with KEMA.

A daily newsletter with up-to-date information will continue to be posted online. To view, visit www.kauai.gov/KEMA and click on the blue button at the top of the page labeled “Waimea Valley Rockslide.”

 
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