HONOLULU — The Kaua‘i Emergency Repairs, a collaborative effort to restore access to the communities of Wainiha and Ha‘ena following the April 2018 flood is one of 12 finalists in the 2020 America’s Transportation Awards, the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) announced yesterday.

The effort now moves on to online voting for a $10,000 cash prize for a local non-profit.

After discussions with the offices of Gov. David Ige and Mayor Derek Kawakami, HDOT has identified the Hanalei Initiative as the local non-profit that would receive the cash prize should the Kaua‘i Emergency Repairs win.

The Hanalei Initiative is a community-led organization established following the 2018 flood to identify and solve the needs of Kauai’s North Shore. The Initiative’s three main areas of focus are water quality, transportation, and maintenance of community spaces.

Everyone can vote online for the People’s Choice award segment of the America’s Transportation Awards. HDOT is asking for your kokua to help bring home the $10,000 prize.

A total of 79 projects from 36 state Departments of Transportation were considered for the 2020 America’s Transportation Awards. Selection criteria included increasing safety, improving efficiencies, and providing accessible travel options for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

HDOT’s entry centered on creating an emergency road through 14 landslides along Kuhio Highway reconnecting the communities of Waipa, Waikoko, Wainiha and Ha‘ena with the rest of Kauai following the record-setting rain event. Work crews and materials from all islands were involved in the effort.

Voting can be done once per day at americastransportationawards.org.

Online voting runs through 11:59 p.m. on October 25, 2020.

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