WAILUKU - A section of Waiale Road underneath an overpass carrying traffic on Kaahumanu Avenue will be closed through mid-September while a $1.8 million repair project is done on the overpass, the state Department of Transportation announced Thursday.
While the work is ongoing, traffic will be detoured in both directions. According to a notice to motorists this week, drivers headed toward the harbor will be routed to Kaohu, Market, Mill and Lower Main streets; and those headed the other way will be directed to Main, High and Kaohu streets and to Waiale Road.
The road will be closed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but actual work will be done between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. However, access to businesses and homes will be allowed. Full funding for the project came from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, said Transportation Department Director Brennon Morioka.
Abhe & Svoboda Inc., a Prior Lake, Minn.,-based company with offices in Hawaii, won the contract.
The repairs are necessary because the 76-year-old overpass has been struck by over-height trucks over the years, Morioka said. The work will result in a higher clearance for trucks after the old beams are replaced with stainless steel ones. The crews will also sandblast the overpass and paint it.
An average of between 23,500 and 31,300 vehicles travel across the overpass every day. Work on the project was scheduled for the summer, when public schools are not in session, to lessen the impact on drivers, Morioka said.
The original overpass was built in 1935 as part of what was then called the Wailuku-Kahului Highway, now known as Kaahumanu Avenue.