FHWA approves revised multi-use path alignment along Wailua Beach (map included)

LIHUE – According to a release from the County of Kauai, County officials received word on March 2, 2010 that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) closed the re-evaluation period on the modifications to the Wailua Beach portion of Ke Ala Hele Makalae, the multi-use coastal path, and concurs with the County that the proposed changes are not substantive in size, scope, intensity, use, location and timing.

FHWA also approved the funding of $7.4 million to complete phase A of the Lydgate Park to Lihi Park portion of the coastal path. Phase A extends from the Kuhio Highway and Kuamoo Rd. intersection to the northerly end of Papaloa Rd. and the spur from Kuhio Highway to Gore Park in Hundley Heights above Kapaa town. The agencies that were consulted in determining this decision include: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; state Department of Land and Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Division; state Department of Transportation, Highways Division; and the Kaua'i County Planning Department.

“I am pleased that we can now continue our work on the Wailua Beach portion of the multi-use path,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. “I want to acknowledge everyone who provided input on this matter especially our Hawaiian community who shared their concerns, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Federal Highway Administration, and the state Department of Transportation, Highways Division.”

The mayor also noted that due to the cost and safety reasons, phase three of the multi-use path, from Lydgate to Lihi Park, will be aligned makai to avoid crossing Kuhio Highway and the mauka leg will be postponed until a later date. This change will require several additional steps including: land acquisition; a supplemental Environmental Assessment, a special management permit; and design work.