Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022 |
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LIHU‘E — The state Department of Transportation broke ground Thursday for repair work on the Wailua River Bridge.
The $55.7 million project will get underway in July and should wrap up by the end of 2024. Most funding, $44.6 million, will come from the federal government, while $11.2 million will come from the state.
“This is a critical infrastructure project for Kaua‘i, and it’s the kind of work that Gov. Ige has made a top priority for his administration,” said Jade Butay, director of the state Department of Transportation.
The Wailua River Bridge was constructed in 1945. The 424-foot-long bridge is supported by seven concrete piers, which are in turn supported by timber piles which were driven into the riverbed more than seven decades ago.
The wooden piles will be replaced by reinforced concrete piles, which will stand up much better to the scouring of heavy rains and flooding, according to a press release.
A new pier will also be constructed between the piles to offer support to the existing superstructure.
Just wondering has there ever been any discussion of cutting the huge Albezia trees that line the river upstream? No, probably easier to spends millions and clog traffic for years. There were never huge trees coming down that river until the Albezia were allowed to proliferate. We all saw the kigham caused by the flooding from a year ago March and of course in 2018. If no cutting is done then we can expect even worse logjams during future flooding events. Think of what 54 inches would do centered over the Wailua valley.
The reason all the Albezia clogged up the bridge during the heavy rains is because the State was doing a “chop & drop” with the trees. They cut the trees but left a lot of them laying up there in the mountains up Loop Road. When the flood hit, it all came down the stream. The damage to the bridge could have been avoided if the job was done the right way. They County conveniently brushed the truth under the rug, but there are many photos of trees that ended up on the beach. All had chainsaw cuts. Sad how much they try to hide from the community.
Great idea guys! Spend 2 years working on the bridge making traffic even MORE of the nightmare it already is on the east side. The community is at its limit already with the lack of common sense and planning going on. I see more and more road rage in Wailua/Kapaa than I ever had before. Taking away one bridge for 2 years is the straw that’s going to break the camels back. Keep bringing in more and more tourists, clogging our roads while you take on more and more construction on the east side roads. Real smart guys!
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