Quake repairs continuing on Maui
What ever happened to the East Maui highway and community affected by the 2006 quake?
Answer: The community of East Maui is still recovering from the damage to Piilani Highway and a bridge near Kipahulu done by the magnitude-6.7 earthquake off the Big Island on Oct. 15, 2006.
The community has not had full use of the road between Kipahulu and Kaupo, and access has been limited to local residential traffic.
Maui County officials hope to complete repair work and open the road to the public in October.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently approved $1.1 million of $1.4 million for replacing a portion of the road, with the remainder paid by the state.
County spokeswoman Mahina Martin said the cost of the repair work totals closer to $4.8 million.
She said the county is appealing a decision by FEMA to pay for only a portion of the work.
Martin said FEMA decided to only pay for a section of road that was undermined but would not pay for a few sections that were affected by rockslides.
The community of Kipahulu was isolated for about a month and a half after the Paihi Bridge was damaged.
A temporary span was put in place and operating by Dec. 3, 2006.
Meanwhile, work on a permanent replacement bridge at Paihi began earlier this month and is expected to be completed by September.
Residents can expect intermittent closures of the temporary bridge during the work because of its proximity to the permanent replacement bridge, county Public Works Director Milton Arakawa said.
Martin said the county is aware of the inconvenience to some residents.
"We know for the community it's been a hardship. We can hardly wait for October to come and the road to be opened," she said.
This update was written by Gary T. Kubota.
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