THE VANISHING BRIDGES OF HAWAII
Yesterday, I read in the Star-Bulletin that the 90-year-old North Kahana Stream Bridge on Kamehameha Highway is due to be replaced with a new modern structure designed to carry heavier loads and to help reduce flooding in the area. The $13.3 million project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.
I am so grateful that I captured and preserved this old bridge in my body of work this past June. The title of this work is "Kahana River, Oahu". I find it to be heartbreaking that so many of Hawaii's old bridges are being torn down and replaced with modern structures that look like eye sores. I understand there is a safety issue involved and I know that when these bridges were first originally built there were a lot less cars on the road then. What I do not understand is ... why can't the old bridges be retrofitted? Would it be too costly? Would it cost more than $13.3 million dollars to do so? The old Hawaiian bridges have so much charm and history about them. I would like to know why the new bridges that are replacing them ... why do they not have the same design or aesthetic style? A prime example would be the new galvanized steel truss bridge that replaced the old wooden Wainiha Bridge on the north shore of Kauai. Another eye sore of a design that does not reflect the ambient landscape ... or Hawaii for that matter.
I have had the pleasure of walking across many of these old bridges on Hawaii. There is this special feeling that you get when you experience them first hand. I welcome your comments on this post.
Posted by Kelly Fitzgerald