Kailua bicyclist seriously injured after falling into gaping hole left by road work

Kailua Trenches - Mokapu Boulevard

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A major road repair is underway on a heavily traveled Kailua road.

There are gaping holes in several locations on Mokapu Boulevard. Over the weekend, a woman fell into one and was seriously injured.

“This is death right here,” Kailua resident Brett Vande Kapelle said.

His wife, Allison, came to landing along the rows of rebar sticking out of the trench along Mokapu Boulevard. Even though she missed those metal stakes, she still suffered serious injuries.

“I have some dental issues, some stitches, concussion, and scratches,” Allison Vande Kapelle said.

“She has face bruises, a broken finger,” Brett Vande Kapelle said.

Allison was riding her bike on Saturday when she accidentally slid in the trench while trying to avoid the cars coming up behind her.

“I had tried to avoid going in, but it’s really almost nearly impossible if a car is coming. You’d technically have to stop, but I would have had to stop in the middle of the road,” Allison Vande Kapelle said.

What worries the couple even more are the metal rods or rebar sticking out of the curb. There are several in each trench and there are more than a dozen trenches along Mokapu Boulevard.

“Heaven forbid one of these little kids, because you see so many kids running up and down the road,” Allison Vande Kapelle said.

There are barriers placed around each trench, but there are gaps in between.

The state has been doing pavement resurfacing on the street for months.

The trenches are left behind by the removal concrete bus pads.

The couple wonders why there are no metal plates covering the trenches.

“They’ve been open for multiple weeks and left in the same condition, so no work is even happening,” Brett Vande Kapelle said.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation could not confirm how long the trenches have been open. She says crews are scheduled to resume work at the end of the week.

KHON2 will follow up to make sure that happens.

The state also released a statement saying it is saddened to learn of the bicyclist’s injuries and is looking into it.

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