In 1902, the Executive Council of the Territory of Hawaii recommended that a bridge of cylinder piers, 160 feet in length, be built at Kalihiwai gulch to replace the ferry that had been in use for a very long time as the sole means of conveying passengers and goods across the Kalihiwai River.
Subsequently, in 1904, the first Kalihiwai Bridge, a 100-foot long structure of steel truss design, was constructed over the Kalihiwai River just above its mouth by the firm of Whitehouse &Hawkshurst at a cost of $6,700.
Then in 1927, contractor S. Honjiyo removed this steel truss bridge and replaced it with a stronger concrete bridge costing $35,000, which was destroyed by the force of a tsunami on Saturday, March 9, 1957.
A week later, on March 16, 1957, Army engineers of the 25thDivision stationed at Schofield Barracks, Oahu replaced the wrecked concrete bridge with a 170 foot long Bailey bridge that they’d disassembled at Schofield’s east range, loaded onto a Navy LST, shipped to Kauai, unloaded and reassembled at Kalihiwai.
In 1963, the present Kalihiwai Bridge, a girder bridge located upstream of the aforementioned Kalihiwai bridges, was built by Territorial Contractors for over two million dollars and was opened for traffic.
Actually comprised of two bridges – with the major span being 798 feet in length and the smaller span, called Bridge No. 4, about 50 feet long — it has a maximum height of 75 feet above the Kalihiwai River, is 36-feet wide, and its length, including approaches, is 1.8 miles.
Meanwhile, the Bailey bridge at Kalihiwai remained in place until late October 1967, when it was disassembled, transported in 10-foot sections to the Lumahai River, and reassembled there by Marine Corps engineers from Kaneohe, Oahu to serve as a temporary replacement for the 50-year-old Lumahai Bridge that had collapsed on October 24, 1967.
The current Lumahai Bridge, a “tidal-wave proof” bridge, replaced the Bailey bridge in 1968.