Kūlanihākoʻi Bridge Stabilization to Close South Kīhei Road

August 20, 2013, 9:34 AM HST · Updated August 22, 6:52 AM
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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 portion of South Kīhei Road will be closed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, as county crews conduct stabilization work on the Kūlanihākoʻi Bridge.

During the closure, motorists will be detoured to the Piʻilani Highway from Kaʻonoʻulu and Kūlanihākoʻi Streets as an alternate route while emergency work is being performed.

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

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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.

Work on Thursday is the first phase of a multiple-phase project in which steel plates will be installed over the roadway where the culverts are located, county officials said.

“We wanted to take proactive measures because of the structural integrity of the bridge, and provide additional reinforcement,” said Maui’s Deputy of Public Works Rowena Dagdag-Andaya in a phone interview today.

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Officials with the Kīhei Community Association responded to the news this morning saying on their website:

“KCA has encouraged the County Administration to place signage minimally a mile or more from the closure to prevent a few neighborhood streets from being totally overwhelmed with vehicular traffic, while jamming intersections at the Pi’ilani Highway. Further, we are asking for traffic officers [to] be strategically stationed at key intersections to help alleviate and mitigate impending challenging situations.”

The temporary closure information was posted in a public notice to motorists published in today’s edition of The Maui News. A press release was expected to be issued by the County of Maui sometime today regarding details of the project.

According to Dagdag-Andaya, the next phase of the project will involve the installation of a temporary bridge in late October or November to allow motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists to go around the area while the culvert is being repaired.

That phase of the project is expected to take three months to complete, according to Dagdag-Andaya, and will result in a road closure and detour as well.

According to the DEA document, project construction 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.

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