A blessing to mark the completion of three new segments of Ke Ala Hele Makalae, the multi-use path, was held in Kapa‘a on Friday.
Government officials, contractors who built the new sections, county personnel as well as a few members of the public attended the event.
Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. acknowledged all of the parties involved in the path construction, noting that a lot also transpired behind the scenes to move the project forward.
“We had a lot of discussions about the path, particularly with regard to the preservation and protection of the Hawaiian host culture, which is a priority for us in whatever we do,” said the mayor. “Everything was taken into consideration and we made adjustments along the way. This project is another example of community and government working together for the betterment of all.”
Also in attendance were Councilmembers Tim Bynum and JoAnn Yukimura.
Yukimura spoke on behalf of Council Chair Jay Furfaro who was unable to attend the blessing. In her speech, she provided historical information about the coastal path tracing its torchbearer to the late Mayor Bryan Baptiste and showing that Mayor Maryanne Kusaka, Mayor Carvalho and many others were instrumental in bringing the coastal path dream to fruition.
Citing a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, Yukimura said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
She thanked everyone for their part over the years.
Two of the new sections were built by Kaikor Construction: the concrete portion of the Kawaihau spur, an offshoot of the main path, which starts at the Kawaihau Road and Kūhi‘ō Highway junction (construction of the elevated boardwalk portion is pending the availability of the U.S. Department of Defense Innovative Readiness Team); and the Wailua segment, which connects with the Bryan J. Baptiste Memorial Bridge segment and extends .65 miles along Papaloa Road near the Coconut Marketplace.
Earthworks Pacific built the ¾-mile section that runs from Lihi Park along the coast turns towards Kūhi‘ō Highway and ends at the footbridge that connects Kaua’i Village Shopping Center and Waipouli Plaza.
Building Division Chief Doug Haigh, who has served as manager of the multi-use path project since 2002, is looking forward to the construction of the remaining segments.
“We’re working on the other phases simultaneously. They’re all at various stages of the environmental assessment process,” said Haigh. “It will be a few years before the entire path is completed, but the view afforded by Ke Ala Hele Makalae is already unsurpassed.”
The remaining segments include:
- Phase three, C & D – Kaua’i Village Shopping Center to Papaloa Road
- Phase four – Lydgate Park to Ahukini Landing
- Phase five – Kuna Bay to Anahola
- Phase six – Ahukini Landing to Nāwiliwili
When the coastal path is finished, it will cover roughly 20 miles from Anahola to Nāwiliwili, mostly along the coast.
During his 2010 inaugural speech titled Holo Holo 2020, Mayor Carvalho spoke about his vision for Kaua’i in the year 2020, which includes constructing as many segments of Ke Ala Hele Makalae as possible.
The multi-use path is one of 38 projects that are part of the mayor’s Holo Holo 2020 vision for Kaua’i, which calls for all organizations, businesses, residents and visitors on Kaua’i to be part of creating an island that is sustainable, values the native culture, has a thriving and healthy economy, cares for all – keiki to kupuna – and has a responsible and user-friendly local government.