Maui News

Kawela Stream Bridge Replacement Starts on Molokai

June 18, 2012, 8:30 AM HST
* Updated June 18, 8:44 AM
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Kawela Stream Bridge. Photo courtesy Hawai'i Department of Transportation.

By Wendy Osher

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for the Kawela Stream Bridge Replacement Project on Molokai on Friday.

The $6 million project will replace the existing bridge, originally constructed in 1940, with a new structure that meets modern seismic and hydraulic standards.

The bridge, located on the Kamehameha V Highway was the site of multiple flooding incidents during heavy rains over the past two decades.  Some of the more severe flooding incidents had resulted in the isolation of east-side residents from the rest of the island.

DOT authorities say the new bridge will be 21 feet longer, and 19 feet wider than the current structure, and will include a 10 foot shoulder on each side for pedestrians and bicyclists.

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The bridge will also be higher, providing additional capacity for drainage flow for the water that flows in the Kawela Stream beneath the structure.

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During the first phase of construction, the DOT will create a temporary detour route on the ocean-side of the existing bridge to reroute traffic around the area.

Construction is slated for completion in December 2013.

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