Hanapepe bridge rehab coming

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island file

    Young people enjoy an afternoon leap from the 1911 bridge on Hanapepe Road over the Hanapepe River in Hanapepe.

HANAPEPE — Construction and rehabilitation of the 1911 Hanapepe Road bridge over the Hanapepe River won’t be able to start until the makai bridge on Kaumuali‘i Highway is completed, but the process has already begun.

This is a continuation of plans that were initially started about eight years ago, said Michael Moule, chief of the Engineering Division of the county Department of Public Works, during a Dec. 3 virtual meeting.

Last time around, the county’s National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106 approval was rescinded, and the project stopped.

“We are back on the same project with the same funding with a new proposal,” Moule said.

The bridge was originally constructed in 1911 across the Hanapepe River. A raised pedestrian walkway was added in 1927. This walkway is now punctured with holes and dangerous.

The bridge is not on the national or Hawai‘i register of significant or historic sites, but is part of the state’s Historic Bridge Inventory and Evaluation, which highlights its preservation value.

The proposed scope of work includes repairing spalls and cracks in the concrete. The existing base will be removed and new concrete deck will be placed on top, with an asphalt overlay. The elevated sidewalk will be restored and a federal Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalk with be placed with reflective delineators on the road.

Unlike the state bridge down river, there are no foundational issues that will require heavy construction that have come up through studies.

The $1.2 million rehabilitation project is funded through the state’s transportation improvement plan, receiving about 80% from the Federal Highway Administration and 20% from the county.

In the next year, the county will seek planning and permitting. Construction will start after the state’s Kaumuali‘i Highway bridge is completed, which could be as early as late 2021 or early 2022.

Moule estimated about a year of work for this rehab, with an anticipation completion in 2023.

One of the goals will be to double the load capacity to 20 tons, which was its original capacity.

Another phase of the project will see installation of drain pipes to keep water away from the structure. That will be accomplished by drilling a larger hole in the exact location of current drains and installing piping beyond the existing parapets.

The county Department of Water had also planned to replace a 6-inch waterline with a 12-inch waterline years ago, but did not follow through with the project. Some of the components being fixed in this upcoming rehab will be to cover damages from that project.

The county will work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has the Hanapepe River Flood Control Project levee, to see if any construction will affect either project. The county is also working with WSP USA to produce design and environmental surveys, Moule said.

Lynn Danaher, owner of the Aloha Theater in Hanapepe, said the meeting was informative, since she is in the process of renovating the building and will need to go through a similar Section 106 process for federal funding.

“I live on the other side of the bridge, so I live in the valley,” Danaher said. “I cross this bridge sometimes three times a day.”

Randy Francisco from the Hanapepe Economic Alliance shared their appreciation for “the forward-thinking of this bridge,” noting the attention to the historic preservation of this new design proposal, down to the color-matching.

“Ten years ago we did have that get-together for the kine to renovate the bridge, and were told later on it was not going to occur,” said Francisco, HEA secretary. “I’m really appreciative this phoenix has suddenly come out of the ember and come back to life.”

Community members have until Dec. 18 to submit Section 106 comments to the county.


Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.


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