State completes 2-year effort to inspect all bridges in isles
After leading the nation in the amount of bridges not inspected in 2006, Hawaii will be tied for last in 2008, state transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa said yesterday.
That is because all the state's bridges have been inspected in the past two years, thanks to a push during the past few months by the state Department of Transportation and the respective county agencies.
According to federal law, all bridges are supposed to be inspected every two years. But in 2006 more than 45 percent of the state's bridges had not been checked, according to the National Bridge Inventory.
In December, Ishikawa said, the Transportation Department sat down with county representatives and came up with a deadline -- yesterday -- to catch up on all the overdue inspections.
With hired engineers to help with the inspections, state and county agencies checked more than 400 bridges of the 1,100 around the state for damage and structural stability, among other criteria.
All overdue inspections were finished by the first week of February.
"We can assure the public" the state's bridges are safe, Ishikawa added.