Portion of Makaha briefly cut off as crews replace century-old wooden bridge

Hundreds of residents on the leeward side of Oahu were cut off from the rest of the island as the DOT worked to replace an old wooden bridge.
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 2:16 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 2, 2023 at 3:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For about three hours Sunday, people in west Makaha were stuck. The only bridge into the community was temporarily closed to be replaced.

From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. the new steel bridge was slid into place, replacing an old wooden one.

“This was a very unique situation for us. There was a lot of planning and preparation,” said Sunny Johnson, a paramedic supervisor with Honolulu EMS.

Honolulu EMS and HFD units were staged on the Kaena Point side of the bridge with units on standby on the Waianae side. “They can triage. They can treat gunshot wounds. They can insert breathing tubes, cardiac arrest,” added Johnson.

If the injuries required hospitalization, the plan was to either load patients onto the back of an ATV and take them across the beach where another ambulance would be waiting.

DOT said they could re-open the bridge, but that would take several minutes.

A situation that would add time, to an emergency response where every second counts.

EMS said they had no calls for the area during the time of the closure, but they’re glad they were prepared just in case.

Aside from emergency services, residents could pre-park their cars on the Waianae side of the bridge and take a shuttle to their homes on the west Makaha side.

A similar project is scheduled for late November for another section of bridge.