Kauai News

Menehune Road to Remain Closed Through End of Month

Posted January 19, 2022, 6:30 AM HST ·Updated January 18, 5:10 PM

County officials announced Tuesday that Menehune Road in Waimea will remain fully closed until the end of January.

Reopening of the roadway will be based on when the slope above the thoroughfare is stabilized and deemed safe for daily passing. Contractors are working 7 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week. A rockslide on Jan. 4 forced the road’s closure.

Photo courtesy of Kaua‘i County.

On Monday, HiTech, the county’s contractor on the project, installed shackles on the barrier mesh to the top cable connection. Two rock scaling runs were also completed, removing rocks and boulders off the slope. Another 5-7 days scaling on the slope is anticipated, weather permitting. A day or two is also needed for cleaning up Menehune Road, the Menehune Ditch and demobilization.

While repairs are underway, large, loose boulders will continue to fall onto the roadway. 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 public is urged to heed all warnings and use the alternate route on Panini Road if access the area is necessary. The Panini Road access is limited to local residents and first responders via 4×4 use 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.

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 working with residents to address any needs. Makaweli residents requiring assistance are urged to contact the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency at 808-241-1800.

The next refuse collection is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 25. Residents are asked to leave their bagged trash in their refuse carts the Monday before for early-morning pickup Tuesday.

To ensure efficient pickup, double-bag your household trash and place it in your county-issued refuse carts. For those without refuse carts, leave your bagged household waste in a covered trash receptacle at the side of the road immediately adjacent to your driveway.

Trash should be double-bagged in the event manual loading into a truck becomes necessary. Trash receptacles must not exceed 50 pounds, and more than one covered receptacle can be used. Bulky items, green waste and loose trash will not be collected.

Families are reporting that they have food and supplies for the time being. Supply deliveries will occur, however, on a case-by-case basis.

Officials thank the following organizations and community partners for their 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, Kumano I Ke Ala, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, Chad Buck of Hawaii Foodservice Alliance, Waimea Hongwanji, West Kaua‘i Christian Center, county officials and council Members, Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, Vandersloot Foundation, Nourish Kaua‘i, Waimea High School, state Senate President Ron Kouchi, U.S. Rep. Kai Kahele, ‘Āina Ho‘okupu O Kīlauea, state Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife and local farmers and fishers.

The next food distribution will be announced when a schedule is confirmed.

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 (www.kauai.gov/KEMA).

If anyone in the affected area requires assistance during work hours, call the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency 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 the 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 wanting 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, click here (www.kauai.gov/KEMA) and click on the blue button at the top of the page labeled “Waimea Valley Rockslide.”