Kauai commuters crawled through Wailua Thursday morning following a single-car collision on Kuhio Highway, near the Leho Drive/Kuhio Highway junction, according to Kauai officials.
The crash occurred just before 3 a.m. when a pickup truck, traveling north on the highway veered off the roadway and crashed into the base of a utility pole along the northbound lane.
The 31-year-old Kapaa man driving the pickup reported only minor injuries and did not require medical attention. There was a 32-year-old man who was a passenger in the pickup at the time of the collision. He reported minor injuries to his hand and was transported to Wilcox Memorial Hospital.
Kauai Island Utility Cooperative reports that the crash caused a power outage for roughly 900 customers in the Wailua area and KIUC crews immediately responded to the scene.
The repair work required the closure of the two northbound lanes of the highway in the vicinity of the crash.
Power was restored by about 4:20 a.m. but crews remained on scene, and lanes remained closed, until the damaged pole could be replaced at about 9:35 a.m.
"The severed pole was a larger, heavier transmission pole that carries power to and from the Lydgate substation," states KIUC Communications Manager Jim Kelly. "Due to the size of the pole and the number of lines it carries, it took longer to replace than a standard utility pole."
To accommodate the lane closures, officers and State Department of Transportation, Highways Division personnel modified traffic flow by diverting northbound traffic through the north Leho Road entrance, and minimizing southbound contra-flow to one lane in the surrounding area.
Kauai patrol officers helped to alleviate the traffic impact by directing southbound motorists to use Leho Road as an alternative route.
All lanes of the highway reopened at around 10 a.m. and State DOT crews reinstated the normal contra-flow pattern.