Paumalu Stream Bridge repairs require 24/7 lane closure

A heads up for drivers on Oahu’s North Shore.

A portion of Kamehameha Highway will be down to one lane for the next two months.

A 24/7 lane closure for repair work to Paumalu Stream Bridge is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 25, and will remain in place through the end of July.

The bridge is located between Paumalu Place and Ke Nui Road near Sunset Beach.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation is working to finish the repairs as quickly as possible to prevent a full closure of the 87-year-old bridge. The repair work is being expedited to avoid further damage to the structure.

“There’s multiple steps that we’re doing. We’re replacing concrete collars around some of the columns. We have to replace a waterline,” said DOT spokesman Tim Sakahara.

Workers are also placing an Acrow bridge, or temporary bridge, around the actual bridge.

The lane closure will alternate between the inbound and outbound lane depending on the construction schedule. The remaining lane will be contraflowed to maintain access over the bridge. Flaggers will be located on both sides of the bridge to ensure safe passage for vehicles and pedestrians. Emergency vehicles responding to a call will be given priority access.

This is the second time in less than two years the structure has been temporarily repaired. It was done in November 2014, and then now, after damage was found, which officials believe was due to high surf.

The state is still working on a permanent solution, but does not know when the work would start.

“Why not start the permanent repairs back in 2014 when damage was found?” KHON2 asked.

“Everything we’re doing right now is to minimize the impact of the future. Now what we’re doing right now is really going for the temporary repairs. That is an option right now because the bridge deck still has its structural integrity,” Sakahara said.

He said more damage to the bridge could mean a complete overhaul now and a full closure for up to two years.

The restriction prohibiting vehicles weighing more than 15 tons from crossing the bridge remains in place until further notice.

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