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Wailua Bridge construction and traffic delays

Calgary, Canada
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Wailua Bridge construction and traffic delays

December 19, 2009 - We are staying near the Coconut Marketplace. The southbound traffic between Kapaa and Lihue is backed up all day long from north of Kapaa to the Wailua Bridge. If you are staying south of the Bridge, best to stay south and if staying north, stay north. Allow ample extra time to get to the Lihue airport from anywhere north of the bridge. It is quite unbelieveable. Looks like a big city traffic jam.

California
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1. Re: Wailua Bridge construction and traffic delays

Good advice and one we have been talking about for a while. This traffic is worse certain times of the day and now that more folks are on the island it is probably worse. When I was on the island a few weeks ago I had a 20 minute wait one day and a 5 minute wait the other day. The best advice is to make sure you add extra time into your travel day and avoid the peak times. Also learn how to avoid driving through Kapaa by taking the bypass road.

San Diego...
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2. Re: Wailua Bridge construction and traffic delays

You must be having bad luck. I was back and forth about 4-5 times this week and never had any holdups. Looked like northbound was a bit backed up a couple of times before 3, but by the time I came back north 4-5 pm -- clear sailing.

My spouse did say it was slow today though around lunchtime.

Bellevue, Washington
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3. Re: Wailua Bridge construction and traffic delays

This was very frustrating on my visit a couple weeks ago. Took 1.5 hours to get through Kapa'a the night of the light parade, so it was 2 hours total to get from Pville to Lihue. Especially frustrating was that I could see that people were cutting out of the line, driving through the Coconut Marketplace and then merging in farther down. Grrr. That only makes the traffic jam worse.

That was a special day I'm sure, and we never had any problem going North, but going South it was always slow. We did take the by-pass a couple of times, and not sure it really saved too much time. One day we came out and merged in right behind the car we were behind before the by-pass!

San Diego...
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4. Re: Wailua Bridge construction and traffic delays

no question that you need to avoid the 3-5 PM period heading south if you can. There's just the one lane until this work is done. Small island and when work commutes + tourist load combine it can be slow.

Personally I've had worse hang ups heading north from Puhi in the afternoons but I'm better at picking times on my usual side of the island.

Kauai, Hawaii
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5. Re: Wailua Bridge construction and traffic delays

Cannot always be done, but so far we have timed our drives thru the Wailua area and not had a problem.

We do use the Kapa'a by-pass heading back down south, and the traffic merge back onto the coastal highway was not a problem. In fact it was really light when we returned from hiking hanakapiai and checking out the huge surf.

Planning ahead, for going north, we left in time to get thru the Wailua corridor prior to the workers starting their job closing lanes down.

Well, one guy working, and 5 guys watching.

We also will head up thru there today ( sunday) to hike the Kuilau Ridge trail, but we also know that it is the weekend and the construction crews do not work on weekends.

However, everyone is very aware that during construction hours, problems with traffic , indeed, can certainly be encountered. I really do not like waiting in traffic...had more than enough of that back in socal for lots of years.

Up north is another problem with the tree trimming and road closure, so, after hiking last week, we waited and had lunch at Calypso, and did not start the drive back until 4:00 pm.......sailed thru to Lihue, without any problem. Had fun and a great time, for the late lunch/early diner. Nice end to a fun north shore outing.

Agree with avoiding the area if possible during construction hours. We are fortunate, in that we elected to live at mile marker zero......and can chose which direction to drive to enjoy the day.

Mile marker " zero" is in Lihue.....not Kapa'a.....so either end of the island is about equal distance from us.

Others, we understand, cannot afford that luxury, since their vacatiion skeds are limited. As well is getting to the airport when departing on their flights during working hours on weekdays.

As recommended in other posts....good idea to add in extra driving time.

We can and do plan our travel times to avoid the more known construction , tree trimmers, guard rail fixers, road paving, etc. Kind of takes the fun out of driving when all of those are combined in a single day.

We cannot always avoid all of them, but try to reduce the problem areas as much as possible.

Denny

Edited: 11:14 am, December 20, 2009
Santa Rosa...
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6. Re: Wailua Bridge construction and traffic delays

Agree,aquarabbit, about the bypass road. I've never saved much time, if any at all. Sure, you're driving at a faster clip but it's a pretty circuitous route with a lot more unnecessary distance. Look at a map and you really haven't cut out much of the main highway. Add to the the merge back onto the main highway where you're at the mercy of those already there to let you back in. Oftentimes they're not too happy about letting cars back in when they've paid their dues.

All in all, it's a wash, timewise. But it is a more scenic drive and better for those who need to get the pedal closer to the metal.

Edited: 2:10 pm, December 20, 2009
San Diego...
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7. Re: Wailua Bridge construction and traffic delays

Southbound today 11 AM -- nil backups, 3 min from bypass to over the bridge.

Northbound 4 PM -- nil backup, no delays anywhere.

Edmonton, Canada
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8. Re: Wailua Bridge construction and traffic delays

Hi all,

We are staying on the south shore in Poipu when we visit Kauai in a couple weeks. We would like to visit the North shore one or two days, but don't want to spend a bunch of our vacation time sitting in traffic. I do that every day going to work:-)

Based on the comments in this thread I am thinking it might be best to spend our Saturday and Sunday travelling up north since it was suggested the bridge workers are not there on the weekend. Or weekdays but travel south sometime after 3:00?

Anyways, can anyone make a few simple suggestions for us as to what is likely to be the most efficient way of travelling (days and time) to the north shore through Wailua and Kapa'a?

Thanks!

Calgary, Canada
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9. Re: Wailua Bridge construction and traffic delays

Your idea of travelling on Saturday or especially Sunday is the best. Northbound on a Sunday morning should be no trouble at all. Southbound may be a little slow for about 3 miles - south end of Kapaa until you are across the Wailua Bridge. If you see the traffic backing up, you get off the road. Explore Kapaa or stop for a bite to eat in Eggberts - the Coconut Marketplace. Weekends are not nearly the problem. On weekdays, you have lane reversals to accomodate the rush hour traffic from 7:00 to 8:30 AM and again from 3:00 to 5:30 PM. In between, you have lane closures for construction.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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10. Re: Wailua Bridge construction and traffic delays

Go early - like 8:00 am latest, return late - after 3:00. Traffic northbound to Lihu`e will be relatively bad around 3-4 or so. Traffic southbound through Kapa`a will be relatively bad around noon - 3:00.

The Bypass is a mixed blessing. You'll keep moving until near the Wailua end, but it can be quite backed up for as much as 1/2 mile.

You may be in very slowly moving traffic for 20-30 minutes, but it's nothing like a backup in LA. I did note Thursday and Friday that they had the lights at Haleilio and Kuamo`o roads blinking and a cop keeping traffic moving, something I maintain they should do all the time during hours of heavier traffic.