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Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Updated 6/19 9:30 AM

WAIPA, Hawaii (AP) — Protesters formed a human chain and blocked tourists from using a Kauai highway to access an area they said cannot support a large influx of people, according to reports.

Department of Land and Natural Resources

The highway beyond Hanalei on Kauaʻi’s North Shore is officially open to the public today. Kūhiō Highway has been closed for more than fourteen months to complete repairs following last year’s massive rain and flooding. While some residents are glad the roadway is open, others are bracing for the influx of visitors.

Hawai'i Department of Transportation

State transportation officials plan to delay the full reopening of Kauaʻi's Kūhiō Highway until the week of May 20 following concerns raised by residents in the area.

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

Kauaʻi Mayor Derek Kawakami is urging the state to postpone its planned reopening of Kūhiō Highway this Wednesday. The flood-damaged road has been closed for nearly a year, and Kawakami says there is still much to be done first. 

U.S. Air National Guard/Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson)

It has been about a year since massive flooding on the Garden Island wiped out the only highway on Kauaʻi’s North Shore. Since then, road repairs have kept Kūhiō Highway closed to the general public. 

Ku'uwehi Hiraishi

This past April, Kūhiō Highway on Kaua‘i’s North Shore was devastated by heavy flooding. Road repairs are now nearing completion. The state Department of Transportation plans to reopen the highway to the public by the end of January or early February. But HPR’s Kuʻuwehi Hiraishi reports local residents are concerned the coast isn’t ready for the increased traffic.