The 84-year-old existing bridge (top, left). A temporary bridge (above, left) is in place while the new bridge is being built. New bridge construction (above, right). Photos provided by HDOT.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation is using $15.3 million in Recovery Act funds to replace the 84-year-old South Punalu’u Stream Bridge. The heavily-trafficked structure will be replaced with a new bridge that will meet current vehicular load, safety, and seismic standards.
The three-span, reinforced-concrete bridge will be 160 feet long, with two 12-foot-wide lanes and two 8-foot-wide shoulders. A shielded walk/bikeway complying with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act will be included, and the roads immediately approaching the bridge will be reconstructed, too.
Built on Kamehameha Highway in 1926, the narrow bridge runs through the scenic beachside town of Punalu’u and over the southern mouth of Oahu’s Punalu’u Stream just a few hundred feet from the Pacific Ocean. The highway serves as the main thoroughfare connecting communities on the northeastern coast of Oahu and carries an average 10,000 vehicles every day.
“The federal ARRA funding is a great opportunity that allows us to start projects like this one that might have otherwise been delayed until our state economy fully recovers,” said Brennon Morioka, director of Hawaii’s DOT. “Replacement of the South Punalu’u Bridge will make this area safer for motorists and pedestrians and keep our long-term plans on-track.”
The Hawaiian Dredging Construction Company was awarded the contract for the project and began work in August 2009. Work is expected to be completed by September 2011.
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