July 06, 2022

Hirono Visits Infrastructure Projects, Community Organizations on Kauai

HONOLULU, HI –Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) was on Kauai, where she toured the Wailua River Bridge infrastructure project before visiting the Hawaii Food Bank Kauai Chapter and the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii’s (BGCH) Lihue Clubhouse.

The Senator began her day with a tour of the Wailua River Bridge, where she was joined by Kauai County Mayor Derek Kawakami and Hawaii State Department of Transportation (HDOT) Deputy Director of Highways Ed Sniffen. Kauai is set to receive more than $44 million in federal funding, including nearly $20 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), for a repair project that will replace the nearly 80-year-old wooden piles supporting the bridge with reinforced concrete piles, which will be better able to withstand heavy rains and flooding. Under the BIL, Hawaii will receive approximately $1.5 billion in formula funding for highways and bridges over the next five years. 

“The Wailua Bridge is an essential piece of infrastructure on Kauai,” said Senator Hirono. “But like so much of our infrastructure in Hawaii and across the country, it requires repairs to continue serving communities on the island. Thanks to federal investment, including funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the bridge is getting the structural updates and improvements it needs to ensure it can remain in use for decades to come. This is just one of the many projects the BIL is supporting to modernize and rebuild Hawaii’s infrastructure for the 21st century.”

After touring the bridge, Senator Hirono visited the Hawaii Food Bank’s Kauai Chapter, which provides food to those in need on Kauai. In 2021, the food bank distributed nearly 2 million pounds of food to people on Kauai, including more than 210,000 pounds of fresh produce. Thanks to federal COVID relief funding, the food bank was able to purchase additional food to meet increased demand during the pandemic. 

“Hawaii Food Bank does critical work to ensure those experiencing food insecurity in Hawaii have enough to eat,” said Senator Hirono. “Over the past two years, they’ve gone above and beyond to keep our communities fed, with a focus on providing fresh, local produce to those they serve. As we continue working to rebuild from the pandemic and support Hawaii families, I’m grateful for organizations like the Hawaii Food Bank and their commitment to combating hunger on Kauai and across Hawaii.”

Senator Hirono ended her day on Kauai with a visit to the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii’s (BGCH) Lihue Clubhouse, which provides safe, positive, and engaging learning environments for youth on Kauai, as well as programs to prepare young people to succeed into the future. Last year, Senator Hirono secured $1.2 million in Congressionally Directed Spending for BGCH to help them better serve youth throughout the state. 

“Boys and Girls Clubs provide safe, supportive environments for young people in Hawaii to focus on themselves and their futures,” said Senator Hirono. “From homework help to leadership development, and so much more, BGCH helps set Hawaii youth up to succeed, which is why I was glad to be able to secure federal funding to support their mission. It was great to meet the enthusiastic young people and see firsthand the power of BGCH’s many programs—including STEM and arts education. With this new federal funding, BGCH will be able to support even more young people in Hawaii, fostering a generation ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow.”