Aiea overpass section replaced, may be reopened Tuesday - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Aiea overpass section replaced, may be reopened Tuesday

AIEA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

When an oversized truck load knocked down part of the Aiea pedestrian overpass on October 16, a lot of students at Aiea Elementary School were left without a safe way to get across Moanalua Road. Just two and-a-half weeks after the accident, the overpass is back up.

Crews were able to lift the 35-foot section of the overpass back into place during emergency work that closed some nearby roads over the last two nights.

Seeing the span completed again was a great sight for Aiea Elementary Principal Kate O'Malley. "We were thinking three or four months, but we got really lucky," she said. "The Department of Transportation, Hawaiian Dredging has been here, working day and night, trying to make that happen."

The five-ton concrete section came down when it was hit by a truck hauling a forklift. The oversized load being towed by Tibbets Trucking was higher than the 15feet, six inch clearance. DOT engineers determined that the bridge section was still structurally sound, and could be rehabilitated and lifted back into place.

That means a lot for about 50 Aiea Elementary students who live across Moanalua Road, on the other side of Aloha Stadium, and who use the overpass to get between home and school. They've been able to use school buses temporarily while the bridge was closed.

"Any of our sixth graders that can't afford to pay for the bus would have to walk home, so without that overpass, that walk home is pretty dangerous," said O'Malley.

Initial estimates for the emergency repair work topped $200,000. The final tab hasn't been tallied, but Tibbets will be footing the bill.

Even though the bridge section is back in place, there's still more work to be done before it will be safe and ready for use. The DOT said barring any unforeseen issues, the bridge will be reopened on Tuesday.

Previous story: Repairs on Aiea pedestrian overpass to begin Nov. 1

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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