Kauai News

Menehune Road Reopens to All Traffic

Posted January 26, 2022, 6:30 AM HST ·Updated January 25, 6:09 PM

Because rock scaling work has been completed, Menehune Road in Waimea reopened to all traffic on Tuesday, Jan. 25.

However, officials advise that ongoing temporary road closures might still be necessary for the next few weeks as continuous work on the slope is needed. A rockslide on the roadway Jan. 4 forced its closure.

Photos courtesy of Kaua‘i County

While on Kaua‘i, officials from the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency, accompanied by Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency Administer Elton Ushio, visited the rockslide site Tuesday morning.

“The county made tremendous progress in the stabilization of the rockslide,” said HI-EMA Administrator Luke P. Meyers. “The community was tested and proved to be invaluably resilient.”

HiTech Rockfall Construction completed rock scaling work Monday on the slope above Menehune Road and began demobilization Tuesday.

As HiTech demobilizes from the site, the county Public Works Roads Division is inspecting the condition of the roadway and will begin installing traffic safety measures, including the placement of barriers along the riverside embankment.

Upcoming work on the slope includes the installation of erosion control measures, which will be conducted by Geolabs — the county’s contracted geotechnical engineering firm — along with HiTech. This work is currently scheduled for Monday, Jan. 31, and will require a full closure of Menehune Road for at least one day.

More details about the road closure will be announced in the coming days.

With the reopening of Menehune Road, the county can now begin further damage assessments of the Waimea Swinging Bridge. Next week, crews will conduct additional safety measures to further stabilize the bridge before temporary repairs begin.

Temporary repairs will start soon after to restore pedestrian access until permanent repairs commence. More details, along with a timeline on these repairs, will be shared once a schedule is confirmed.

The next refuse collection is currently scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 1. Residents are asked to leave their bagged trash in their refuse carts Monday night for early-morning pickup Tuesday.

Wellness checks and needs assessments will continue as needed 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, which will coordinate with community partners.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources’ alternate emergency access route from Waimea Canyon Drive, known as Panini Road, will remain open to local residents and first responders via 4×4 use only. Motorists are urged to drive slowly and cautiously through the area.

Anyone in the affected area who requires assistance during work hours can call 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 the office at 808-241-4470. If you have a schoolchild who needs assistance with distance learning options, contact KEMA.

ADVERTISEMENT