HILO – On Sept. 15, the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) reduced the allowable weight rating for Kolekole Bridge on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19) to four tons (8,000 lbs.). Today, Sept. 17, HDOT is updating the public on the emergency repairs to the bridge at milepost 14.27.
Following additional analysis, the department is pursuing emergency welding to support raising the weight restriction to 12 tons, which will accommodate most emergency and transit vehicles. Staff is coordinating with Hawaii County emergency responders and will allow ambulances on the bridge starting today.
HDOT is targeting completion of the emergency welding by Monday, Sept. 20, pending availability of a contractor. During the emergency welding, there will be a single lane closure on the bridge.
The timeline for the longer-term repairs is still 3-4 months pending availability of materials. The expedited repairs are supported by the declaration of Hawaii Belt Road in the vicinity of Kolekole Bridge as a traffic emergency zone.
A diagram showing the trusses that need to be welded can be seen below:
The original announcement on the weight restriction can be found at https://hidot.hawaii.gov/blog/2021/09/15/weight-limit-for-kolekole-bridge-on-hawaii-belt-road-reduced-to-4-tons/