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$3M federal grant awarded to rebuild Maui bridge washed away by floodwaters

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has awarded more than $2.9 million to rebuild the Kaupakalua Bridge in Haʻikū, Maui.

Heavy rains last March eroded an existing drainage channel upstream from the bridge and the resulting flood washed the bridge away.

The original two-lane timber bridge was built in the early 1900s. It connected roughly 200 residents to shopping, gas stations, medical care and more.

With the bridge out, area residents have had to drive 5 miles further to access the same services. Officials say the detour could make a big difference in an emergency.

The project will remove the existing concrete pier footing and install a pre-engineered steel truss bridge that meets 100-year-flood event standards.

The project is a collaboration of FEMA, the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency, and the County of Maui Public Works Department.

Jason Ubay is the managing editor at Hawaiʻi Public Radio. Send your story ideas to him at jubay@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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