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Wednesday, April 5, 2000

By Ken Ige, Star-Bulletin
Workers pull a hose from one of the five pipes that run
under the bypass road at Waimea Bay to allow water from
the Waimea River to escape into the ocean. There are now
three 36-inch drainage pipes and two 24-inch pipes under
the road. The old bypass road had only two 36-inch pipes.

Waimea bypass reopens

A break in the rain gives
contractors, and traffic,
a needed head start

By Harold Morse and Gregg Kakesako


The North Shore communities of Haleiwa and Sunset Beach are once again reconnected.

For the second time in a month, the state has opened the Menehune Connector on the beach at Waimea Bay. It was opened at 2:30 this morning.

Transportation officials hope the bypass road will last until the end of June, when the realignment of Kamehameha Highway is completed.

Bids for the realigned road -- which will be set back 20 feet from the present shoulder of the mauka lane to provide a rock-free zone -- will be opened Monday.

A break in rain that has soaked the North Shore since the weekend enabled workers to make rapid progress in rebuilding the bypass road, according to Marilyn Kali, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman.

The bypass road on the beach was washed out Friday by a rain-swollen Waimea River, effectively cutting most transportation between Waimea and Haleiwa.

Kamehameha Highway has been closed to traffic since March 6 because of the danger of rockslides. The bypass road went into operation March 18.

Three 36-inch drainage pipes and two 24-inch pipes have been put in under the road to increase drainage from the Waimea River. The old bypass road had only two 36-inch pipes for drainage.

Kali said the repaired temporary road, reopened a day ahead of schedule, has a four-ton weight limit and will be limited to cars, pickups, motorcycles and bicycles.

"Pedestrians are prohibited from using the road," she said.

City buses that had been shuttling people on Kamehameha Highway while the bypass road was repaired will no longer be allowed on the closed section of highway. TheBus was to return to shuttle bus service this morning between Shark's Cove and Waimea Bay Beach Park parking lot.

"Shuttles will run every 15 minutes," Kali said. "The contractor will continue work removing loose rocks from the cliffs above Kamehameha Highway."

Plans and specifications for a new alignment of Kamehameha Highway to avoid future rockslide danger went to bid yesterday.

Also yesterday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit for the project.

A small part of the planned realigned road enters adjacent wetland and thus requires a federal permit for a proposed stabilized earth embankment involving about three cubic yards of cast-in-place concrete.

The Corps of Engineers reviewed plans last week and determined that less than 1/20th of an acre of wetland would be affected by about 150 feet of the planned road. The new quarter-mile stretch of Kamehameha Highway through the rock-slide area is expected to be finished by June 30.

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