Linda T. asks: Is phase three of the bike path completed yet? How many miles does the bike path go? Mahalo, Linda
Kauai Path: As of May 2015, Phase III of Ke Ala Hele Makalae is not yet complete—there is a gap of about 1/2 mile between the Lydgate Park to Coconut Marketplace path system (southern of the two completed contiguous path systems totaling about 3-1/4 miles) and the Waipouli to Kuna Bay path system (the northern portion, about 4-1/4 miles long along the Kapaa and Kealia coast).
Additionally, there is a spur in progress that goes inland across Kuhio Highway just North of Otsuka’s Furniture Store. That will—in about 18 months—connect the coastal path alignment to the Kawaihau Road area including Kapaa High & Elementary Schools, a distance of about 3/4 mile. The top and bottom segments of that spur are complete, but the connecting elevated portion is still in the planning stages and not yet built.
Geoff C. writes: Hello. We will be on vacation on Kauai in August 2014. Can you tell us what phases of the Lydgate Park to Kuna Bay pathway are now complete? It looks like phase 1 and 2 are complete, but we are wondering about phase 3.
Kauai Path: Aloha Geoff, You are correct, as of mid-2014 [and now mid-2015] there are portions of Phase III that have not yet been built. There is about a 0.75 mile gap between the North end of Papaloa Road and Waipouli Beach Resort.
The gap is walkable and bikeable by routing through the Coconut Marketplace’s parking lot, along Aleka Loop Road, and then along the makai side of Kuhio Highway, but that section will be MUCH more fun once the path is built.
Troy A. writes: Someone was asking me if I knew what this was along the bike path in Kealia. Do you know? Is there an interesting story?
Kauai Path: That is the remains of the Pineapple Dump.
Up until the 1960s the Hawaiian Canneries Company, Ltd. canning plant in Kapaa (where the Pono Kai condominiums are now) used to produce canned sliced and crushed pineapple and pineapple juice used for food-flavoring purposes. Factory by-products — the crowns & skins from the processed pineapples — were loaded onto train carts and hauled up to that structure.
The rubbish was then dumped into the ocean from the end of the pier.
At some point a fisherman installed a fishing pole holder near the end of the pier.
Today access onto the pier is blocked with railings displaying a pineapple motif reminiscent of that bygone industry.
NOTE: Since this question was asked, interpretive signage has been installed with this sort of cultural, historical, and environmental information at the rest pavilion near the Pineapple Dump and at about a dozen other locations along the path. This interpretive signage project was awarded a Historic Hawaii Foundation Preservation Award.
Ronald B. asks: I will be visiting Kauai Sept.- Oct. 2013. What information can you provide about the bike path?
Kauai Path: Aloha Ronald, thanks for your interest in Ke Ala Hele Makalae.
When you are on Kauai this fall, the connection of Ke Ala Hele Makalae between Lydgate Park (~4 miles of path meandering within Lydgate Park, crossing the Wailua River, running North along Wailua Beach, and along Papaloa Road stubbing out at the Coconut Marketplace) and the contiguous 4.2 mile section (from Lihi Park in central Kapaa along the coast North to Kuna Bay) will still be under construction and/or planning. (see update)
In short, there will not yet be a contiguous ~9 mile long multiuse path all the way from Lydgate Park to Kuna Bay.
With a bit of determination, the resolute walker, runner, or cyclist should be able to traverse the incomplete portion of that alignment.
The two complete sections are in constant use, are very attractive, and the interpretive signage now being installed along the Kapaa - Kuna Bay corridor should be completely in place by the time you arrive.
Additionally, there should be a new section of path (indicated as the "Phase A Spur" ) completed that will climb the hill between the coast and the residential neighborhood along Kawaihau Road at the North end of Kapaa town. That section now has finished concrete on the ground at the base and at the crest of the rise, but the elevated above-grade center section is planned for construction in the summer of 2015.
If things proceed as planned, the labor for the elevated section build will be provided as a training exercise for military personnel deployed to Kauai. This civil engineering exercise is part of the Pentagon's Innovative Readiness Training ("IRT") program. Hopefully those plans will survive the range of fiscal constraints imposed on many government projects--we'll see.
When you are on Kauai, you might want to purchase a Go Green Kauai map for details on Kauai's various hiking, biking, and running assets.
R.S. of Kapaa asks: Just curious to know a few aspects of the multi-use path spur from the coast up to Gore Park. Is there any idea of a completion date - time frame?
Kauai Path: There are two parts to this section of path: (1) is the concrete on the ground portion, and (2) is the elevated portion that will bridge the abrupt changes in the terrain. The area in (1) is complete, but that leaves a big gap for (2).
(2) is planned to be designed and constructed by military personnel, operating under a Pentagon program called Innovative Readiness Training ("IRT").
In 2012 & 2014 similar IRT programs provided free medical services to over many thousands of Kauai residents. Those two missions were medical IRT missions, the work on the path will be a civil engineering mission. The mission is now in the planning/design phase, and we
expect hope to see actual construction begin and be completed in the summer of 2015.
Recently the Garden Island Newspaper ran a story on this project.
RS: It has been a year since this half-mile section broke ground and many people in the Kawaihau area are anxiously awaiting it to be finished!
KP: Agreed--as are many of us!
RS: The [pedestrian] cross walk at Kuhio highway seems very dangerous.
KP: It would be great to have a "split-grade" crossing there, like an underpass for bike/ped, but sadly that is not going to happen. That's one reason we keep advocating for better facilities. What is in place for that crosswalk is a system of pedestrian activated flashing lights to warn motorists. This is not a stoplight. Construction for the installation of that system is now complete (May 2013 update).
RS: What are the precautions being taken to warn the motorists of this area, in particular the speeding south-bound highway users entering Kapaa area? Signs, flashing lights, rumble strips?
KP: See above.
RS: Thank you for your time and energy with all that has been done this far! We appreciate it very much.
KP: You are welcome. Kauai Path's board members never thought the whole Ke Ala Hele Makalae project would be this involved and time consuming, but in the end the completed coastal path will be most worthwhile.
Again, thanks for your patience, and hopefully you will take an active roll in establishing community stewardship of this linear park that links us together.
Which parts of Ke Ala Hele Makalae are wheelchair accessible?
As of Q1, 2011 there are two completed portions of Ke Ala Hele Makalae — (1) Lydgate Park and (2) the 4.1 mile stretch along the coast from Kapaa to Kealia.
All of (1) is ADA compliant, with many parking areas designated for handicapped access.
The only portion of (2) that has not met ADA standards for access is the connection between the Kealia Kai trail head/comfort station at 22° 06' 58.40" N, 159° 18' 03.03" W and the Kuna Bay Beach—that section of pathway exceeds the slope limitation and is steeper than one would probably want to negotiate with a wheel chair. You can access the overlook of Kuna Bay and all of the (2) coastal path from many access points along the coast.
What are the key Phases of East Kauai's coastal pathway?
What is the present status of the County of Kauai's Ke Ala Hele Makalae project?