Under control


POSTED: Saturday, December 12, 2009

QUESTION: I sometimes drive through the Kawainui Marsh area in Kailua and see that the invasive weed Salvinia molesta has almost completely covered the waterways now. No water is actually visible anymore. I remember in years past there were efforts to clear out this weed. Has a policy decision been made to let it grow? Who or what agency has responsibility for the marsh?

ANSWER: For now the Salvinia is considered under control, and no effort is being made to rid the marsh of this aquatic weed.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources' Division of Forestry and Wildlife assumed responsibility for managing Kawainui Marsh last year.

The city's Road Maintenance staff at the Kailua-Waimanalo Corporation Yard does weekly monitoring of the growth of Salvinia molesta in the ditches feeding the marsh, but it's up to DLNR to deal with it.

Currently, the focus is “;mainly to control the Salvinia in the ditches rather than eradicate the plants from the entire marsh,”; said Tyler Sugihara, chief of Road Maintenance.

Asked about the observation that the marsh has been overtaken entirely by the Salvinia, DLNR spokeswoman Deborah Ward said the weed is “;not in danger of spreading.”;

She said the Salvinia is contained within the roadside ditches along Kapaa Quarry Road, adjacent to the model airplane field.

“;It does not seem to pose an imminent threat of spreading, and due to constraints from reduced funding and personnel, the Division of Forestry and Wildlife ... is currently monitoring the situation and will spray it when staff and resources are available.”;

Ward said that when the area was managed by the city, a truck with a boom sprayer was used to keep the waterways adjacent to the road open.

The forestry division doesn't have such equipment available, and there is no agreement with the city to use its equipment, she said.

The presence of Salvinia molesta, as well as Pistia stratiodies (water lettuce), along Kapaa Quarry Road could hamper use by water birds, Ward acknowledged.

But she said the plants' spread is limited by the increasing salinity of the water toward the makai end of the marsh.

When we last addressed the problem in 2007 (http://hsblinks.com/1hh), it was explained that Salvinia is not tolerant of salty or brackish water, so the salt water helps keep it under control.

Fortunately, Kawainui Marsh is connected to the ocean, unlike Lake Wilson in Wahiawa. The lake was overrun by Salvinia a few years ago but has since been almost completely cleared of the weed.


Halawa Stream bridge reopens Wednesday

QUESTION: It's been six years since they started fixing the bridge on Kamehameha Highway over Halawa Stream at Makalapa Gate. This is a huge, troublesome project for the people at Makalapa Base, as well as for the people going to the NEX and Pearl Harbor Base. When is work going to be completed?

ANSWER: Merry Christmas! The bridge is set to reopen next week.

We're hesitant to give you a date now that several reported reopening dates have come and gone, but the state Department of Transportation says the bridge will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

At that time, crews will begin shifting the southbound traffic on the temporary structure to the new permanent structure, said department spokeswoman Tammy Mori.

There still will be work to re-stripe lanes, etc., but that should all be completed by 2 p.m. that day, she said. Media advisories will be sent out alerting drivers of “;intermittent stoppages of traffic”; as vehicles are rerouted to the new structure.

In June we reported the target date for the bridge to be reopened was October (http://hsblinks.com/ 1ie). Before that the department had hoped to have the bridge reopened in June but was stymied by problems with the foundation.

Bad weather was a factor for the October target date being missed, as well as work on the foundation taking a little longer than expected, Mori said. “;But the good news is ... now people will finally be able to use the new bridge.”;

However, all's not done in the area.

Workers will have to disassemble the temporary bridge and restore the Halawa Stream area to its former condition. That work will be finished “;probably in the first quarter”; of 2010, Mori said.

Work on the Halawa Stream bridge was supposed to have been completed in July 2006 for $7.2 million.

Costs have since topped $10 million.


To Puakea Nogelmeier, the “;Voice of TheBus,”; to the person who asked the question regarding who the voice belonged to, and to “;Kokua Line”; for providing the answer. That was a very interesting article. And a very big mahalo to TheBus. Because of you, I have learned how to pronounce the Hawaiian words correctly.

Route 1 Rider for Two Years


June Watanabe will be on vacation until the end of the year. Her column will resume Jan. 6. Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).