Kauai track project is in home stretch
What ever happened to the construction of a new track at Vidinha Stadium on Kauai?
Answer: After years of requests for funding, budget overruns and a contractor's departure, Kauai's Vidinha Stadium will finally have a rubberized running track, likely by the start of high school track and field season, according to Kauai's mayor.
The track, replacing a compacted cinder surface outdated at least 20 years ago, will also feature a 400-meter oval instead of the old 440-yard pattern. The long and triple jump, high jump, shot put and pole vault areas also are being completely overhauled.
When completed, it will be the first rubberized track on Kauai, for years the lone county without such a facility. It will also enable the Garden Isle to hold state track meets for the first time in decades.
"Our youngsters will finally have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field," said Kauai Mayor Bryan Baptiste.
While Baptiste considered the track a priority when he was elected in 2002, funding delays and trouble with the first contractor slowed down the process, which was originally to be completed by last year's track season.
It was also expected to cost $1.4 million, but that number is expected to rise to $2.4 million by the time the project is completed in late February. While the county, state and the National Park Service picked up the original tab, Kauai's County Council has already authorized the release of the extra funds to finish the project.
If it is well constructed and maintained properly, the expected life span of the rubberized track is 10 to 15 years, said Kauai parks administrator Mel Nishihara.
This update was written by Tom Finnegan.
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