Groundbreaking ceremony for Kawela Bridge construction project

Kahu Claude Duvauchelle commemorates the project launch in a short blessing ceremony with state officials. From left: Kahu Claude Duvauchelle, Ierusalema Pomaikai Church; Brian Bowers, President, Bowers + Kubota Management.; Charlene Shibuya, Assistant District Engineer, Highways Division; Jadine Urasaki, Deputy Director for Capital Improvements Projects, state Department of Transportation; Zeke Kalua, Executive Assistant to Mayor Alan Arakawa; Dale Moore, Molokai Regional Manager, Goodfellow Bros, Inc.; and Ray Skelton, Maui Regional Manager, Goodfellow Bros., Inc.

After years of planning, the construction for the replacement of the Kawela Stream Bridge is finally underway.

On Friday, the Hawaii Department of Transportation held a groundbreaking ceremony on the construction site 5.1 miles east of Kaunakakai. The new 65-foot-long and 47-foot-wide bridge structure will provide improved drainage flow capacity and help to mitigate area flooding.

Jadine Urasaki, Deputy Director for Capital Improvements Projects, state Department of Transportation, addresses the gathering at the Kawela Bridge site on Friday.

Replacement of the existing bridge, originally constructed in 1940, will be preceded by the construction of a temporary detour road to accommodate traffic. The existing bridge will then be removed and the replacement bridge constructed. The streambed beneath the new bridge will be lined with concrete to protect the banks from erosion and to facilitate maintenance.

The Kawela Stream cutting through Kamehameha V Highway is the site of multiple flooding incidents during heavy rains over the past two decades. Some of the more severe flooding incidents had resulted in the isolation of eastside residents from the rest of the island. It was almost five years ago that the DOT first held public meetings on Molokai for this project.

Zeke Kalua, executive assistant to Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, comments on how important this project is for public safety during flood conditions.

DOT authorities say the new bridge will be 21 feet longer, and 19 feet wider than the current structure. In addition to providing improved hydraulic capacity, the new bridge will also be wide enough to provide 10-foot shoulders for both pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

Initial pre-construction activities are already in-progress and the project is expected to be complete in December 2013.

Goodfellow Bros., Inc. will serve as the general contractor for this $6 million project. Sub-contractors include GP Roadway Solutions; Akira Yamamoto, Inc.; David’s Fencing, Inc.; Maui Paving, LLC; Beachside Roofing, LLC; Structural Systems, Inc.; Apply-A-Line, Inc.; JN Construction, Inc.; Associated Steel Workers, Ltd.; Green Thumb, Inc. and Archaeological Services Hawaii, LLC.

KAI Hawaii, Inc. and Austin Tsutsumi & Associates, Inc. serve as design consultants while Bowers & Kubota Management will be the construction management.


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