Repair plans for Hamakua Coast bridges

Posted on Sep 27, 2021 in Highways News, Main, News

HILO – Following the emergency repairs to Kolekole Bridge on Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19) the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) is updating the travelling public on the permanent repair plans for Kolekole Bridge, as well as three bridges along the Hamakua Coast.

An intermediate repair project will supplement the emergency welding, that was completed on Sept. 20, 2021, on Kolekole Bridge that allowed for a weight posting of 12 tons. This follow up repair will be completed within three to four months and will restore normal operations on the bridge. A contractor has been selected for the intermediate repairs, which will include installation of a steel truss structure, support beams, and rod hangers to support the bridge.

This repair will give us the time necessary to finalize environmental permitting and design on the permanent repair and lead remediation for Kolekole Bridge. The permanent bridge repair project is estimated at $36 million with a start date of Fall 2026.

Through the state bridge inspection program, HDOT has been monitoring three bridges along the Hamakua Coast of similar age and construction as Kolekole Bridge. These bridges, Wailuku, Nanue, and Hakalau, will be scheduled for repairs in early 2022. These repairs will be proactively performed to avoid load restrictions. Permanent repair projects have been programmed for each of these bridges over the next three years for an estimated combined construction cost of $120 million. Details on the planned permanent repairs for Wailuku, Nanue, and Hakalau are as follows:

  • Wailuku Bridge – Complete rehabilitation and painting. Construction anticipated in Fall 2025. Estimated cost is $30 million.
  • Nanue Bridge – Complete rehabilitation and painting. Construction anticipated in Fall 2024. Estimated cost is $30 million.
  • Hakalau Bridge – Foundation replacement for scour, replacement or rehabilitation of columns and trusses, deck rehabilitation, and painting. Construction anticipated in Fall 2023. Estimated cost is $60 million.

HDOT will continue to update on the status of the repairs to Kolekole Bridge and the other Hamakua Coast bridges through news releases and social media. To sign up for HDOT releases, visit