Kūlanihākoʻi Bridge at Risk of Collapse, $3.6M Replacement Sought

July 15, 2013, 11:47 AM HST · Updated July 15, 8:15 PM
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Kūlanihākoʻi Bridget inlet. Photo courtesy Wilson Okamoto Corp. Engineers and Planners via Draft Environmental Assessment for County Dept. of Public Works.

Kūlanihākoʻi Bridget inlet. Photo courtesy Wilson Okamoto Corp. Engineers and Planners via Draft Environmental Assessment for County Dept. of Public Works.

By Wendy Osher

A Draft Environmental Assessment has been prepared for the proposed replacement of the Kūlanihākoʻi Bridge in Kīhei, with public comment being accepted through August 7, 2013.

According to the document, the existing four-cell concrete box culvert system is “structurally deficient” and in “advanced stages of deterioration.”

According to information contained in the DEA, “if left un-repaired there is a risk of possible collapse” due to vehicles traversing over the existing culverts.

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Based on the results of a bridge inspection report conducted in March of 2012, the structure earned a “sufficiency rating” of 2.0 on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 representing full design standards, the draft document stated.

Construction of the project is projected to start by the first quarter of 2015, with completion expected to take nine months at a cost of $3.6 million, funded in part by the County of Maui and the Federal Highway Administration, the DEA states.

The County of Maui Department of Public Works is proposing the construction of a replacement bridge  across South Kīhei Road, just north of the Kīhei Bay Vista apartments and Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Kūlanihākoʻi Bridget inlet. Photo courtesy Wilson Okamoto Corp. Engineers and Planners via Draft Environmental Assessment for County Dept. of Public Works.

Kūlanihākoʻi Bridget inlet. Photo courtesy Wilson Okamoto Corp. Engineers and Planners via Draft Environmental Assessment for County Dept. of Public Works.

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The project is also located south of the Aston Maui Lu Resort, and across the street from Kalepolepo Beach park.

Just seaward of the bridge is a brackish water muliwai or pool created by seasonal barriers of sand or sediment from the stream, the DEA document notes.

According to the DEA, the planned improvements will result in the widening of South Kīhei Road from “two 10-foot travel lanes with paved shoulders,” to “two 12-foot travel lanes with 5-foot wide bike lane, a 5-foot wide paved walkway, and a 2.5-foot wide curb and gutter separating the walkway from the roadway on both sides of the bridge.”

The DEA, prepared by Wilson Okamoto Corp. for the County of Maui Public Works Department, had published an “Anticipated Finding of No Significant Impact.”

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