Wade Lord of the County of Kauaʻi Public Works Division has provided the following update:
The culvert repair is in the hands of the FEMA “E.H.P.” Group (Environmental Dept), which is in charge of reviewing all plans involving water/wildlife etc.
The plan submitted to FEMA is for returning the culvert to pre-flood damage condition and is not an overall reconstruction to mitigate future storm damage. He has received numerous inquiries since the submission of the original plans with requests to harden/improve the entire culvert. However, to revisit and re-permit for a larger scale repair would take at least another 12-18 months, as there are no resources (meaning private contractors or availability) to review the entire area above and below the impacted site. The County’s in-house surveyors are the ones who went out and submitted the work order, and they are now on to other projects (as there are a lot just on Kauaʻi).
So, in essence, there is a wait time of 2 years from receipt of all estimates. Wade affirmed that that the repair will be solid and will include Geotek and Ripwrap, which stabilizes the soil. He is confident that it will be a long lasting repair, as their specs include concerns identified from Seacliff runoff and erosion into the flood plain below.
He also shared that, in past experiences, they have gone forward with repairs in other places without FEMA funds in place. However, that approach led to complications and they won’t do that again, even though the desire to reopen the road is vital.