Bridge work stalls Kaumualii Highway traffic

LIHUE — Motorists on Kaumualii Highway near the Maluhia Road junction are reminded of the work being done by the Hawaii Department of Transportation in partnership with Central Federal Lands Highway Division to replace a bridge.

A temporary “bypass road” has been opened in the last two weeks with blinking lights on the barrier markers and will be in effect until the completion of the project, anticipated to be in September, weather permitting.

“As always, we remind motorists to obey traffic laws, the posted speed limits, and drive with caution through the construction zones,” said Tim Sakahara of the HDOT. “The work has not been listed on the weekly lane closure reports because it has not required lane closures.”

Intermittent lane closures have taken place under supervision of traffic officers provided by the contractor, WW Clyde Construction.

Advisory signs are placed ahead of the project with vehicular speeds being lowered to 35 mph, and 25 mph while on the diversion highway. There are “end of work” signs placed.

Sakahara said the bridge “is actually a large double barrel box culvert located approximately 800 feet west of the Maluhia Road intersection on Kaumualii Highway.”

The project is anticipated to improve the safety and reliability of the bridge through rehabilitation or replacement, addressing bridge width, load capacity, bridge railing and transitions.

Following a final environmental assessment which found no significant impact, the contract for $3.4 million was awarded to WW Clyde Construction with a notice to proceed issued on March 1.

The scope of the work involves the construction of a temporary stream crossing, the construction of a diversion of Kaumualii Highway across the temporary stream crossing, the removal of the existing double box culvert, constructing a new culvert, reconstruction of Kaumualii Highway over the new culvert, and the removal of the highway diversion and the temporary stream crossing.

Work is anticipated to be done in September, weather permitting, and Kaumualii Highway will be restored to its original alignment on completion.

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