Bridge in Waianae concerns paddlers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Bridge in Waianae concerns paddlers

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WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Paul Alferez is a retired refinery worker who goes paddling at least three times a week. He often goes up Kaupuni Stream in Waianae but says he's noticed the bridge over the stream deteriorating.

"This one time I was paddling under and this 18 wheeler went over and it came right over me and I actually felt the bridge vibrate all the way down to where the column is and it kind of scared me," said Paul Alferez, Waianae.

What also scares him is the crumbing concrete and rusted rebar that is sticking out of the bridge pointing toward the water.

"Somebody can get hurt," said Alferez.

Alferez really got concerned after he saw the bridge collapse in Seattle and he doesn't want to see that here, especially with only one way in and out of Waianae.

"If the bridge falls apart on us it would cut off all the emergency services. So that's my main concern," said Alferez.

Kaupuni Stream bridge is 33 years old. It is listed as structurally deficient, the worst category. It is scheduled for major repairs in the next 10 years. Despite the visual defects state engineers say it is safe enough to last another decade.

There are nearly 150 bad bridges in Hawaii, but only enough money to fix eight of them. However the state inspects all bridges every two years. The Governor just released another $395,000 this year to inspect and prioritize them by which one needs the most work.