DOT extends emergency repair work in Hauula, high surf washes debris onto highway

Local News

The state Department of Transportation extended its emergency repair work on Kamehameha Highway in Hauula until the end of January.

High surf, strong winds, and astronomical high tides washed sand onto Kamehameha Highway from Kualoa to Laie overnight.

This comes as emergency repairs continue after part of the highway collapsed Friday night in Hauula.

On Saturday, the DOT said rain was to blame for the collapse and extended the repairs to fix about 1,500 feet of crumbling highway.

“Thirty years ago, we actually had a beach [down there], and the road was perfect there were no problems,” said Hauula resident Brad Heder.  “But after the 30 years, the tides been getting high and everything is just falling.”

State Representative Sean Quinlan (D) Waialua, Hauula, Kaaawa – says the emergency repairs are becoming too common.

“Once again, just like every winter for the past decade or longer we’re in the same situation where we’re in contraflow and part of our road has fallen into the ocean and for the past decade we really haven’t been offered any long term solution,” he said.

Last year the DOT completed a study ranking the most critical coastal highway areas statewide. Rep. Quinlan’s district had five of the top 10 critically prioritized coastal highways in need of being fixed, including the number one spot.

“It’s obviously incredibly frustrating because it’s not just about traffic, it’s about health— it’s about people being late, or missing a doctor’s appointment, or missing dialysis because we don’t have dialysis on our side of the island,” Rep. Quinlan said.

“It’s a tremendous disruption to our resident’s lives and I think it’s honestly totally unfair that we are continually put in the same situation year after year,” he continued.

He said it’s “past time” for the state to come up with a long-term solution for the coastal highways on the windward side.

Rep. Quinlan said he is drafting a bill that would require the DOT to come up with a long term plan for windward coastal highways and to implement that plan by certain dates and provide numbers in terms of cost.

The DOT has extended emergency repair work on Kamehameha Highway in Hauula until Jan. 27. Contraflow will continue from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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