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.

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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.

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

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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