Plan to replace woodenBy Gary Kubota
bridge crosses residents
of rural Maui
PEAHI, Maui -- Some Maui residents in rural Haiku say a county plan to replace a wooden one-lane bridge built in 1911 with a modern, two-lane concrete bridge will spoil the ambiance of their neighborhood.
"They want to put an urban bridge here," said Haiku resident Samuel Clark. "This is country."
Haiku resident Kathy Lewis, who has been leading a petition drive, said the concrete bridge would destroy the rural atmosphere of one of the most beautiful country areas on Maui.
"I'm of the opinion no new bridge is needed," said Lewis. "Because of its location, it keeps traffic at a slow pace."
The wooden bridge, about 18 feet wide by 34 feet long, crosses over the meandering Kaupakalua Stream at a hairpin turn along Peahi Road, where ferns and lichens grow in abundance on towering kukui and shower trees.
Residents say the traffic volume is low, with only 20 to 30 families living along Peahi Road. Some motorists say the rural route serves as a retreat for them.
Others like Lewis, who moved here 20 years ago, run daily along the road and across the bridge.
"A lot of people in Haiku are here because of the rural lifestyle," she said.
"I can tell you where there is a wild beehive and when the coffee beans are ripe."
County Public Works Director Charles Jencks said the bridge can only carry up to 6 tons and occasionally floods when the stream rises.
Jencks said a concrete bridge requires less maintenance than a wooden bridge, and the county needs to improve the building standards of the bridge to obtain 80 percent in matching funds from the federal government.
Under the proposal estimated at $850,000, the bridge crossing would be relocated to allow a straighter road alignment, and the bridge itself would become two lanes and at least 28 feet wide with a carrying capacity of 20 tons.
Jencks said the additional capacity would enable the road to be used by school buses, refuse haulers and construction trucks.
He said although residents may use Hana Highway and Kaupakalua Road as major accesses, improving the Peahi Road bridge would offer motorists an alternative in an emergency.
Lewis said the amount of money to be spent on the bridge is "ridiculous," and county officials should simply repair the bridge, if it needs fixing.
"It's a waste of public funds," she said.
"They want to spend the money because it's free? Well, it's not free. It's federal funds," Lewis said.
The proposal has been referred to the Maui Council's public works committee and is expected to be discussed at a public hearing in January.
Roadwork planned this week throughout Oahu:Roadwork planned this week throughout Oahu:
LEEWARD OAHUEwa Beach
Fort Weaver Road from Farrington Highway to Hanakahi Street.
Hakalina Road from Pahihi to Puhawai roads.
Haleiwa Bypass Road; and Kamehameha Highway from Helemano-Waialua Junction to Haleiwa Beach Park.
Vicinity of Kunia Interchange to Waikele Stream Bridge and from Kupuna Loop to Farrington Highway; Kunia and Fort Weaver roads; H-1 freeway ramps 5 and 5-B and all other ramps in Kunia Interchange; and H-1 freeway in the vicinity of Kunia Interchange, Makakilo-bound lanes.
Kilani Avenue from Holoku Place to Ilima Street; and Mala and Ilima streets.
Mililani Interchange; and Lanikuhana Avenue.
Farrington Highway, Leoole to Awanui streets; and Paiwa to Leoku streets.
Waipahu Street from Amokii Street to Waikele Road.
Moanalua Road from Punanani Channel to Pali Momi Street; Kaonohi Street between Alania and Kahapili streets; Kahapili Street between Kaonohi and Kaonohi streets; Maohu and Heleconia places; and Akaaka, Ilee, Kulawai and Kaamilo streets.
Komo Mai Drive from Waimano Home Road to Hookupa Street.
Halupa Street from Haloa Drive to Punihi Street.
Ala Ilima and Likini streets.
Makuahine and Kalihi streets; Dillingham Boulevard between Waiakamilo Road and North King Street; Kamanaiki Street from Violet to Laulani streets; and Kapalama, School, Moani, Laulani, Puolani, Noe, North School and Pahulu streets.
Liliha Street from North King Street to Vineyard Boulevard; Huli Street; and Vineyard Boulevard at Nuuanu Avenue.
Kimo Drive Bridge; Kaohinani Drive from Kimo to Pelekane drives; Kahawalu Drive between Kaohinani and Niolopua drives; Kahawalu Drive; Ragsdale and Homelani places; Pali Highway from Country Club Road to tunnel entrance including both roads to lookout; Nuuanu Pali Drive; Dowsett Avenue; Waokanaka Street; and Old Pali Road.
King, River and Bethel streets.
Kapiolani Boulevard; Keawe Street on Ala Moana, South and Queen streets, and Nimitz Highway and River Street to end at Hotel Street; and Coral Street from Ala Moana to Auahi Street.
Harding Avenue from Kapahulu to 1st avenues and from Kapiolani Boulevard to Kapahulu Avenue; Kapiolani Interchange; Kapahulu Avenue between Kaimuki and Waialae avenues; and H-1 westbound from Kapiolani Offramp to South King Street Offramp and Eastbound Offramp to King Street.
Keeaumoku and Heulu streets; and Piikoi at Lewalani drives.
Kahoaloha Lane from Kuilei Lane to South King Street; and Kuulei Street from Kahoaloha Lane to University Avenue.
Keanu Street between 8th Avenue and Sierra Drive; and 9th and 10th avenues between Keanu Street and Waialae Avenue.
Aha Nui Place; Ainakoa Avenue; Malia and Makaikoa streets; and H-1 freeway, Koko Head to 21st avenues.
Ala Wai Boulevard between Ala Moana and Kalakaua Avenue; McCully Street between Ala Wai and Kapiolani boulevards; and Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues.
Maunahilu, Pakolu and Pili places; and Paula Drive between Maunahilu Place and Iwi Way.
Kamehameha Highway from Mahe Point to Lau Place.
Ahuimanu Road; and Kialua, Hoopai and Poomau streets.
Keala, Kawaipapa and Puuowaa roads; Waikulama Street; and Kamehameha Highway from Pipilani to Kaupau places.
Kalanianaole Highway, Kamehameha Highway to Kapaa Quarry Road; Ililani Street from Mokapu Boulevard to Iliwahi Loop; Iliwahi Loop to Ilimano Street; Iliaina Street from Ililani Street to Iliwahi Loop and from Ilihau Street to end; Kailua Road from Kalanianaole Highway to Kawainui Bridge; Alahaki and Akupa streets; and Ilikaa, Akupa and Nanaloko places.
Ahiki Street; Kaaiai Street from Huli to Nakini streets; and Kumuhau Street from Waikupanaha to Mahailua streets.
Keaahala Road from Anoi Road to Keaahala Place.
EAST OAHUKalani Valley
Kalaniiki Street and Kalanikai Place.
Kalanianaole Highway from Nawiliwili Street to Sandy Beach Park Entrance; and from Hanauma Bay to Sandy Beach.
PARADEJingle Bell Run
6 p.m. next Saturday, beginning at the flagpole area of the Honolulu Municipal Building at South King and Alapai streets and ending at Aloha Tower Marketplace. Route goes along Alapai, Beretania, Bishop and Queen streets.