By Wendy Osher
The damages effectively cut off transit for an estimated 40 residents living in the valley below just before Kailua on the makai side of the Hana Highway.
“This is wonderful news that were were able to move a major project like this forward so quickly,” said State Senator J. Kalani English in a phone interview this morning.
“I am proud of Maui County for jumping on this and allowing residents to get back to work and to their lives,” said Sen. English, who represents Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i and Kaho’olawe.
While residents can walk across the bridge, it cannot support the weight of vehicles. A portion of the road also suffered further collapse a few days ago.
County Communications Director Rod Antone praised state and county agencies for working together despite jurisdictional issues that left the bridge as a “road in limbo,” not claimed by either the county or the state.
“The mayor and Sen. English have made this a priority,” said Antone. “We’re ready to go and ready to help these people,” he said, noting that both the county’s engineering and highways divisions of Public Works would be involved.
Sen. English said that while lead agencies are still working out some details, agreements have been reached with the state to realign the road.
According to Antone, the county is getting a right of entry from the state to realign the road and carve out additional parking by the Hana Highway. “We’re also getting an Emergency SMA Permit,” he said.
While preliminary estimates from County Public Works Director David Goode, and Sen. English, have placed projected costs at $240,000, the figure is a very rough estimate, and only assessment will determine the actual cost of the project.
“We’re not going to be able to give estimates on time or costs,” said Antone, who explained that while work begins on Tuesday, crews will first have to cut the heavy brush and vegetation to figure out a plan of attack.