Bridge repairs within sight

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Repairs to a one-lane bridge leading to Hakalau Beach Park could begin in early November, according to Hawaii County Public Works.

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Repairs to a one-lane bridge leading to Hakalau Beach Park could begin in early November, according to Hawaii County Public Works.

The park has been off limits since the century-old span was closed in February after erosion was identified under its foundation.

Public Works spokesman Barett Otani said the approximately $2 million project could be put out to bid in late September or early October. If work begins in early November, the project could be complete in mid-January, weather permitting.

The project hasn’t started sooner in order to avoid the Hawaiian hawk’s breeding season, he said.

But even once the bridge is fixed, there’s no guarantee yet the park will reopen right away.

Parks and Recreation Director Charmaine Kamaka said lead contamination was identified in the park near the highway bridge about the same time the closure occurred.

She said remediation is the state Department of Transportation’s responsibility and, since the park is inaccessible, none of that work has occurred.

Kamaka said it’s possible only a portion of the park could remain closed but DOT hasn’t informed the county yet of its plan.

DOT spokespeople did not respond to an email requesting comment by deadline.

Kolekole Beach Park was closed indefinitely in April after tests showed high levels of lead in the soil.

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Lead contamination was found at the base of Umauma bridge during a rehabilitation project, prompting testing at Kolekole and Hakalau parks, which are both under highway bridges.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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