The state Department of Transportation has lifted the weight limit postings for Ninole, Hilea, and Waiaka stream bridges on the Big Island. All three now have an unposted bridge weight limit of 40 tons.
Weight reduction signs were posted at the bridges on Hawaii Belt Road in mid-February after a statewide reassessment of bridge weight restriction calculations. Since, the department and federal officials have reinspected the subject bridges and redone the load rating calculations based on finite element analysis, a more extensive and costly method for structural analysis that is not typically used for Hawaii bridge inspections.
Going forward, it will be the department’s policy to verify conservative bridge inspection results that may result in postings with finite element analysis prior to posting weight limit reductions.
All three Hawaii Island bridges are scheduled for repair or replacement in the near future. HDOT anticipates release of the advertisement for consultant services for design and environmental clearances for the Waiaka Stream Bridge project later this month.