Gov. Neil Abercrombie has signed a disaster proclamation to allow emergency repairs on a key Kauai highway to begin immediately.
The governor signed the proclamation Friday because a section of Kuhio Highway near Kilauea was being threatened by a partially collapsed 15-foot-diameter culvert beneath the road.
This weekend’s heavy rains compounded the problem leading Kauai officials to close the Kuhio Highway stretch near mile-marker 22.5, 1,000 feet east of the Pili Road intersection.
Traffic has been temporarily rerouted using Kolo and Pili Roads as a detour, officials said.
State highway workers completed site inspections last week and the repair project’s design is expected to be completed this week, the governor’s office said. Construction should begin in mid-to-late March and will include the excavation of a 150-feet-long section of the highway, replacement of the drainage culvert, and reconstruction of the highway pavement.
“Emergency repairs are necessary for the safety of all those who use this popular corridor,” Abercrombie said in a news release. “State traffic personnel are working to ensure that the North Kauai communities remain accessible to residents and visitors.”
An average of 12,000 vehicles passes through the area daily, according to the state Department of Transportation.