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Wednesday, March 29, 2000

Review mixed
for N.Shore
highway design

Some say pedestrians and bike
riders won't have enough room
under the proposed plan for
Kamehameha Highway
at Waimea Bay

Tax breaks, help

By Harold Morse


A proposed new quarter-mile stretch of Kamehameha Highway at Waimea Bay, with its center line moved about 38 feet makai to lessen the risk of falling rocks, got mixed reaction at last night's North Shore Neighborhood Board meeting.

A March 6 rock fall onto Kamehameha Highway forced closure for safety reasons, and the proposed new road, estimated to cost $4 million to $5 million, would have two 11-foot-wide lanes with a grassy depression on the mauka side to catch any falling boulders. If large rocks bounce toward the road, a 12-foot steel post, steel cable fence would stop them.

But not all of the approximately 70 residents at Haleiwa Alii Beach Park were pleased with the plan.

Some were worried that the new road would be ugly, and wanted more space for bike riders. They wanted special construction to move the whole road farther makai.

The makai, or ocean, side will have a 4-foot shoulder and 4-foot sidewalk for pedestrians and bikers. The mauka side will have a 4-foot shoulder and no sidewalk.

This does not give enough protection to pedestrians and bike riders, said board member Ken Newfield. What is needed is to stand back, take more time and do it right because the project is so important to the community, he said.

Newfield called for two-lane bikeways on the makai side.

The target date for completing the permanent road segment is June 30. Meanwhile, the temporary beach road will remain in use, said state Transportation Director Kazu Hayashida.

"The only alternative that we had was to build a road on the beach. ... We hope that the road will be there until we get a permanent road," he said. "The permanent solution will be to build a retaining wall out to the water line."

The retaining wall and other concrete bracing will hold the road up on the ocean side, he said.

Hayashida and Pericles Manthos, highway division chief, said burial caves on the mauka side also made it necessary to move the road makai.

But it was also to minimize impact on the water area, they added.

"Next week, the design will be completed," Hayashida said. "We'll be calling for bids on the 4th of April. On the 10th we will open the bids."

Hayashida was applauded when he said utility lines will go underground.

The retaining wall will be the same color as nearby rocks to blend in with surroundings, Manthos said.

The rock catchment and fence will provide adequate protection, he said. When a rock hits the fence, it gives, springs and pushes the rock back into the soft, grassy catchment, Manthos said.

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Tax breaks, help

North Shore residents affected by the recent rockslide may be eligible for tax breaks.

Both state and federal tax people will offer help at Haleiwa Elementary School and Sunset Beach Elementary School from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Tax officials will help walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis with basic tax return preparation and other details. Residents seeking help are asked to bring all necessary documentation.

E-mail to City Desk

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