Emergency bridge work to affect scenic byway

By Catherine Cruz
Published On: Oct 07 2013 06:44:05 PM HST

The state of Hawaii today began emergency work on a bridge near the Lanai lookout causing some delays along Kalanianaole Hwy.

HONOLULU -

 You don't want your car to end up down in the ocean.

That's why work has to happen up above on the Ihiihilauakea Bridge.

What you normally don't see as you drive along on the curvy road can hurt you.

 State transportation officials usually inspect our bridges every two years but work on this one couldn’t be put off any longer.

"This is one we had been watching and our inspector had been going out there every week and noticed that the deterioration had been increasing," said DOT spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter.

There are signs posted from near Hanauma Bay to Sandy Beach warning of the work starting this week.

The closure was news to a Hawaii Kai photographer who makes a living working along this coast.

"We come here actually a lot. We do a lot of shoots along here. Makapuu. We go to Sandy's and stuff," said Stephen Patrick.

The plan is to close down one lane to traffic during the week while crews shore up the old bridge.

PHOTOS: Emergency bridge repairs in East Honolulu

Click here to see more pictures of the bridge.

The structure has weathered and you can see how sections of the concrete has started to crack and fall off

 This is a tricky area to maneuver. Crews will need to bring a crane in and that will force the closure of the highway.

From 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, this particular section of Kalanianaole Highway will be shutdown to traffic.

Crews will be erecting scaffolding as they prepare to chip away at the loose concrete sections.

The project will cost about  $2 and 1/2 million and is expected to last  for months.

Crews will work to minimize the vibrations while the concrete cures.

"It will definitely be going until the end of the year. And depending on what they find when they go down there, it may continue to the spring. Basically they will be contra- flowing the traffic through there, except on Tuesdays when sometimes it will be completely shut down," Sluyter said.

The timing is meant to take into account that Hanauma Bay as well as the Kokohead firing range is normally closed on Tuesday's.

Buses will be forced to turn around at the Koko Head range and at Sandy Beach.

Traffic will be routed through Queen's Gate subdivision through Hawaii Kai.

But some residents are worried that the detour will only add to the congestion along Lunalilo Home road.

City crews are doing sewer work as well as resurfacing the roads so motorists should plan ahead and expect delays.

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