Updated 

Federal-state partnership to expedite bridge work


Three Hawaii Island bridge projects are among 11 projects statewide to benefit from a partnership between the state Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration Central Federal Lands Highways Division. This partnership will supplement the state’s current project delivery process and get additional projects shovel-ready.

“Central Federal Lands Highways Division has managed various construction phases of Saddle Road on Hawaii Island with great results,” Ford Fuchigami, HDOT interim director, said in a statement. “Its enhanced role statewide will provide a valuable resource and allow us to complete more needed projects.”

The Hawaii Island projects are Kawaihae Road, Waiaka Stream bridge replacement and realignment of approaches; Mamalahoa Highway, Hilea Stream bridge replacement and Mamalahoa Highway, Ninole Stream bridge replacement.

“We have experienced great results because of the strong partnership we have with the HDOT and the incredible support of the Big Island communities. The success experienced reminds us all of the importance of partnerships and how all the right resources from local, state and federal levels can join forces and make great things happen,” Rick Suarez, CFLHD division engineer said in a statement. “This represents good government in action. It represents the best interests of those we serve and enables us to be good stewards of limited resources entrusted to us.”

The total program cost is estimated to be more than $137 million for the 11 projects, which are in the preliminary planning phases. There may be additional projects as the HDOT works collaboratively with CFLHD and as funds are available, a state spokeswoman said.