State sets new weight limits for deteriorating North Shore bridge

State sets new weight limits for deteriorating North Shore bridge
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

NORTH SHORE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state has discovered cracks in the supports of Paumalu Stream Bridge near Sunset Beach on Kamehameha Highway, forcing officials to lower the weight allowance on the 87-year-old bridge.

The state has posted signs warning drivers about the problem.

"It's really the commercial vehicles we're concerned about," said state Transportation Department spokesman Tim Sakahara.

The state is asking that vehicles that weigh more than 15 tons stay off the bridge. Emergency vehicles as well as The Bus are still permitted to use the bridge. But there is a stipulation:

"What the drivers have been instructed to do is if they see another bus coming in the opposite direction one of them is going to wait," Sakahara said. "The point being is we don't want to have two buses on the bridge at the same time."

So how do you know if your vehicle is safe on the bridge?

Sakahara said that any standard sedan, pick-up truck or SUV weights less than 15 tons. Check your car registration to see how much your car weighs.

DOT typically inspects the bridge four times a year. Workers decided to go again after recent monster swells. That's when they discovered cracks in some of the support pillars.

It's not the first time there have been issues with the bridge. Less that two years ago, crews made similar emergency repairs to reinforce crumbling concrete supports.

The news has drivers concerned.

"I don't know how much the car weighs," said resident Victor Martinez.

Resident Emonne Abedimi added that there aren't any alternate routes, except driving all the way around the island.

"I mean what would you do?"

DOT officials haven't yet set a date for repairs to begin.

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