Alii Drive culvert replacement project delayed

  • The double-cell culvert bridging the Waiaha drainageway on Alii Drive in Kailua-Kona. LAURA RUMINSKI/West Hawaii Today

KAILUA-KONA — A county project to replace a deteriorating culvert on Alii Drive will get started a little later than previously estimated.

The Department of Public Works last Wednesday issued an addendum to an invitation for bids for the project extending the bid opening date to Jan. 8. The county will accept proposals from contractors until then.


The delay is necessary to provide the county time to resolve questions and requests for clarification on the plan and specifications, Department of Public Works spokesman Barett Otani said.

The project would change out the more than 80-year-old culvert on the Waiaha Drainageway near Kona Tiki Hotel in Kailua-Kona. It’s located at mile marker 1.5, south of Kailua Village.

With the current delay, work is now expected to begin in May, pushed back from February, Otani said.

The project includes demolition of pavement, culvert, walls, seawall and removal of trees; rock stream channel excavation; and the construction of a new bridge in phases, CRM wall, waterlines, sewer lines, pavement markings, signs, and adjusting valve box frames and covers, according to the original invitation for bids posted Nov. 15. The contractor will have just under two years from the issuance of a notice to proceed to complete the work.

The county says phased construction would minimize impacts on traffic and pedestrians. The plan is to provide two lanes of traffic during peak traffic hours and at least one lane at other times, Otani said.

“Since the project involves the replacement of a bridge, work will definitely impact traffic,” Otani said.

The culvert replacement is anticipated to cost about $12 million. The Federal Highways Administration will cover 80 percent of the cost. Finance Director Deanna Sako on Wednesday said the county’s share, about $2 million, is still on the books for the project.

The culvert, also referred to as a bridge, was built in 1937. Though described as “structurally deficient” and “functionally obsolete” and near the end of its design life in a final Environmental Assessment for the project, Otani said previously that bridge engineers have deemed it safe for use.

  1. Big ideas December 26, 2018 6:59 am

    Ok….I say the final cost will be 20M and take a minimum of 3 years to complete.

  2. JTTRI December 26, 2018 9:15 am

    Have fun Kona, Harry has spoken. Bow to the almighty Kim.

  3. Scooby December 26, 2018 9:37 am

    Harry will delay every project until his term is up, then he will say he needs to be re-elected to complete what he won’t complete.

  4. LOL in Kona December 28, 2018 6:22 am

    and none of the
    …”once hired, can’t be fired” folk
    were at all inconvenienced by the delay….

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