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State looks at replacing Waiaka Bridge in South Kohala



WAIMEA, Hawaii >> State officials are considering plans to replace Kawaihae Road’s 79-year-old Waiaka Bridge in South Kohala.

West Hawaii Today reports an inspection by the National Bridge Inventory Standards rated the bridge as having a sufficiency rating of 26 on a scale of 100.

The rating considers the bridge as structurally deficient, with need of repair or replacement. It does not mean the bridge is unsafe to use, according to the assessment.

Located in Waimea, state officials want to build a new bridge, as well as realign approaches to the bridge.

The proposed project is expected to cost between $8 million to $14 million, according to the draft environmental assessment posted Friday on the state’s Office of Environmental Quality and Control website.

The estimate does not include the cost of buying adjoining land for the project.

Built in 1932, the Waiaka Bridge is a concrete slab structure about 38 feet long and 26 feet wide, with a center pier column and a wooden walkway.

The new bridge would be 53 feet wide by about 80 feet long, would have wider lanes for cars and trucks, a shoulder-bike lane and raised sidewalk.

Construction is expected to begin in 2012, with completion by 2013.


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