A bridge linking Waipio and Mililani had to shut down again on Sunday, this time for emergency work. The state has been working on the Kipapa Stream Bridge for more than a year now, but it just found a major problem in one of the supports.

So Sunday it had to turn drivers away as crews fixed it. Transportation officials told us about the issue Saturday. The emergency closure was scheduled to begin Sunday at 7 in the morning until 11 at night. When we went to check it out Sunday afternoon, traffic getting on the H-2 freeway to Mililani was backed up. 

Transportation officials tell us the bridge is safe to drive over but during the rehabilitation project they found that one of the main bridge supports has holes in the concrete like a honeycomb. In a statement, the Department of Transportation tells us:

“In the process of the rehabilitation project it was determined that the concrete in one of the cross members of the bridge pier was “honeycombed.” In other words, there were voids in the concrete. The emergency work today consisted of the Contractor breaking out the concrete to find the extent of the honeycombs and fixing it with new concrete.

We cannot allow vehicular traffic over the bridge structure while this work is taking place but it is safe for the public to drive over the bridge. The emergency work is covered under the contracted amount and we expect to make the revised completion date of September.”

The news comes after motorists and surrounding communities have gone through a number of scheduled closures for more than a year. While many are glad the bridge is undergoing necessary improvements, they don’t like the traffic it’s caused.

“Basically, we only use it once a week to go to church. So every time we go to church it’s been traffic and then we have to use this road,” said a Waikele resident. 

“Especially for people that live on this side, it’s definitely a headache for all of us. There’s no other area we could go without a faster way than that,” said Sean Hashimoto of Wahiawa. 

Currently the price tag for the project is between $10 to $25 million. The emergency work is covered under the contracted amount.

The project that was originally supposed to take 12 to 18 months to complete should be finished by the revised completion date of September.