RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Workers toiled yesterday on the Haleiwa Bridge, which will be closed for repairs for up to 10 days starting Oct. 16.
Bridge repairs will disrupt Haleiwa businesses
Haleiwa's landmark Rainbow Bridge will close for 10 days on Oct. 16 to give work crews time to find and repair troublesome leaks on its deck.
Haleiwa, business owners want visitors to know, will remain open for business -- with a slight inconvenience for motorists accustomed to using the bridge to come into town.
"We want to extend the life of the bridge for as long as possible," said Michael Yuen, the project's construction manager.
Haleiwa business owners said they are willing to put up with a few days of inconvenience because they know repairs to the bridge will benefit the community for many years to come.
"Everybody in this town is already geared up knowing that you've got to make a small sacrifice for the long term, and that's what we've been trying to teach everybody," said John Moore, who owns two surf shops and a restaurant and is a member of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
"We know we've got to put up with this for 10 days, but for the next 40 years we'll have something beautiful to look at," Moore said.
Most of Haleiwa sits south of the bridge, so any Kamehameha Highway traffic coming from North Shore beaches will be diverted south along the Joseph P. Leong Highway to Weed Circle, where drivers will be detoured back to Haleiwa. Pedestrians won't have that problem. The bridge will remain open for them.
A message board will be set up at the junction of the Joseph P. Leong and Kamehameha Highways to give drivers advance warning that the bridge is closed.
"We're not saying you can't use the road -- we want delivery and the city buses to go around the other way. Anything that's big and large to turn around, there isn't a whole lot of room to turn around," Yuen said.
Crews were working last year to rehabilitate the aging bridge, which spans the Anahulu Stream.
"What we did notice while we were repairing the bridge through last winter, we noticed that it leaks. When we were underneath the bridge, it leaks through the deck. That's part of the reason why we need to open it and expose it and redo the decking on top," Yuen said.
"The intent is to strip off the (asphalt concrete), look at the condition of the existing deck, repair whatever needs to be done, and then we pour a new surface."
The work is scheduled for Monday through Sunday between 7 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to speed up completion and to try and minimize the amount of days the bridge is closed.
"On top of that, the winter surf season is coming up and we want to be out of there," Yuen said.
Area businesses are already making plans to let their customers know that they might need to take a different route to get to their favorite restaurant or shop.
"The City and County came through and passed out a flyer to everybody and so all my customers that are coming in, I'm letting them be aware of what's going to happen," said Moore, whose businesses are on the Waialua side of the bridge.
Melanie Harris, a manager at Jameson's By The Sea, said the restaurant will also be notifying its customers.
"As long as Turtle Bay (hotel) is full -- we get a lot of business from there -- so they just have a direct shot right here. It's not going to affect them at all," she said.