Officials are announcing the following updates for the Waimea community affected by the rockslide that occurred on Menehune Road on Jan. 4:
Road Closure and Slope Stabilization
Menehune Road remains fully closed for roughly three weeks, until the slope above the roadway can be stabilized and is deemed safe for daily passing. Contractors will continue to work seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Work to stabilize the Waimea Swinging Bridge tower and lateral supports was completed on Wednesday, and crews began the next phase of work to protect the historic bridge from further damage.
In addition to ongoing protection measures, contractors on Thursday began installing support posts for a chain link fence along a portion of the slope, above the Waimea Swinging Bridge. This fence will protect the bridge from rocks released during the ongoing rock scaling work. A helicopter was used to mobilize the fence material onto the slope, while demobilizing the existing drilling equipment. Installation of the fence is expected to continue Friday.
While repairs are underway, large, loose boulders will 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. Please heed all warning signs around the construction zone.
Waimea Swinging Bridge
Work to repair the Waimea Swinging Bridge will start after 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.
Wellness Checks/Needs Assessment
While the road remains fully closed, crews will continue wellness checks and needs assessments for residents along Menehune Road and on the Makaweli-side of the river, as well as provide daily updates online at http://www.kauai.gov/KEMA.
The next food distribution will be Friday, Jan. 14. Officials thank the following organizations and community partners for their past and ongoing assistance with providing food and supplies to residents: The Kekaha Ag Association, E Ola Mau Na Leo O Kekaha, Hawai‘i FoodBank – Kaua‘i Branch (HFB-Kaua‘i), Kumano I Ke Ala, KIUC, Chad Buck of Hawaii Foodservice Alliance, Waimea Hongwanji, West Kaua‘i Christian Center, County officials, Council Member Billy DeCosta, Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro, Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, Vandersloot Foundation, Nourish Kaua‘i, Waimea High School, Senate President Ron Kouchi, ‘Āina Ho‘okupu O Kīlauea, state DLNR, and local farmers and fishers for also contributing to the food distribution.
The next refuse collection is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 18. Residents are asked to leave their bagged trash in their refuse carts next Monday, Jan. 17, for early-morning pickup on Tuesday. Officials will confirm the refuse collection schedule in the coming days.
To ensure efficient pickup, please double bag your household trash and place it in your county-issued refuse carts. Bulky items, green waste, and loose trash will not be collected at this time. For those without refuse carts, please leave your 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.
Panini Road Emergency Access Route
The State Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has 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 x 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.
With Panini Road open to local access, residents are able to check their mail at their Post Office boxes. If you need further assistance with mail service, please 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. If you have a kupuna needing assistance from the Agency on Elderly Affairs, contact their office at 808-241-4470. If you have a school-aged child who needs assistance with distance learning options, contact KEMA at 808-241-1800.
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.”