HONOLULU — The state Department of Transportation (DOT) is pleased to announce that the Karsten Thot Bridge in Wahiawa will open in both directions seven days a week, beginning Friday, October 19, at 5 a.m. The speed limit will be reduced to 15 miles per hour from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, through the end of the month as work continues under the bridge. Traffic control measures will be in place at those times. Load limits for the bridge will be returned to the previous 22-ton limit.
The opening of the bridge on Friday is possible due to the completion and inspection of structural repairs, including the removal and replacement of 4,000 rivets with steel bolts and the replacement of 3,400 pounds of gusset plates under the bridge. Continuing work includes sandblasting and repainting beneath the bridge.
Within the next year, additional work to complete anti-corrosive metal coating of the top of the bridge structure will be done. This work is anticipated to take place mainly during off-peak traffic times, such as at night or on weekends. While not considered part of this emergency work, this type of painting is important to the integrity and life of the steel structure.
The 80-year-old bridge was closed to vehicular traffic for critical emergency repairs on September 17. During an inspection this past July, it was determined that the bridge needed immediate repairs. At that time asphalt was removed from the bridge to lighten its load and the 22- ton vehicle weight limit was reduced to 10 tons. Traffic was restricted to passenger and emergency vehicles only. Due to non-compliance with the 10- ton load limit and difficulties with enforcement, the bridge was shut down for the safety of the driving public as well as the safety of crews working underneath the bridge.
The DOT appreciates the public’s patience during the bridge closure. We would also like to thank the Honolulu Police Department and the area military installations for their help in mitigating traffic issues during this time. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Karsten Thot Bridge