Kauai News

Menehune Road Could Reopen Before the End of the Month, Officials Say

Posted January 21, 2022, 4:35 PM HST ·Updated January 21, 4:36 PM

Menehune Road in Waimea is expected to remain fully closed until further notice, with a possibility of reopening before the end of January. Reopening of the roadway will be based on when the slope above the roadway is stabilized and deemed safe for daily passing.

Contractors are working seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

HiTech, the County’s contractor, completed two full scaling runs on Thursday, removing boulders and rocks off the slope above Menehune Road. They also cut and removed overhanging hazardous trees on top of the slope, and removed small scaling rocks from the Menehune Ditch.

Courtesy of Kauaʻi County

Rock scaling operations continued Friday. On Saturday, HiTech plans to further secure the rockfall barrier fence to the slope by drilling additional anchors and replacing damaged mesh panels and other hardware.

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. The public is urged to heed all warnings and if you need to access the area, use the alternate route on Panini Road, which is limited to 4 x 4 vehicles, or contact KEMA at 808-241-1800.

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.

Refuse collection is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 25. Residents are asked to leave their bagged trash in their refuse carts on Monday, Jan. 24, for early-morning pickup on Tuesday. To ensure efficient pickup, please 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 may be used. Bulky items, green waste, and loose trash will not be collected at this time.

While the road remains fully closed, wellness checks and needs assessments will continue for residents along Menehune Road and on the Makaweli-side of the river. Anyone needing assistance is asked to call KEMA at 808-241-1800, who will coordinate with community partners.

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

The State Department of Land and Natural Resources 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 4×4 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.

If anyone in the affected area requires assistance during work hours, please 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, please 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.”

ADVERTISEMENT