WAIMEA — A $1.6 million mitigation project, which was prompted by rockfall earlier this year along a stretch of Menehune Road near Waimea swinging bridge, has been completed after months of work.
The County of Kaua‘i Department of Public Works said in a statement that a blessing was held on Tuesday, Nov. 1, for the completion of the Waimea Rockfall Mitigation Project. A portion of Menehune Road, as well as the swinging bridge, had been closed since the morning of Jan. 4 because of debris.
“After nearly a year, we are grateful to the many agencies and partners that worked diligently and tirelessly for the affected residents of Waimea Valley,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami in a statement. “We thank everyone for your patience and cooperation during this process.”
Work on the project consisted of repairs to the swinging bridge, slope stabilization, improvements to Panini Road for emergency access, as well as a rockfall mitigation assessment.
The rockfall incident led to an emergency proclamation being signed by Kawakami on Jan. 4.
“Contractors estimate that it may take at least three weeks to remove all the rockfall hazards above Menehune Road,” said Kawakami at the time of the incident. “Road crews will resume clearing work as soon as it is deemed safe.”
The initial response to the incident resulted in joint emergency efforts from the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency and County of Kauai administration with a number of other government agencies, as well as community organizations, landowners and utility companies.
Those efforts included making sure first responders could access the area, food distributions and donations, wellness checks and needs assessments. The county Department of Public Works managed long-term repair and mitigation activities.
Wyatt Haupt Jr., editor, can be reached at 808-245-0457 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff writer Dennis Fujimoto contributed to this report.
Source: The Garden Island