Waikapū Stream Bridge
The Waikapū Stream Bridge was built in 1937 by the Clarke Transportation Company out of reinforced concrete. It was designed by William R. Bartels, Chief Engineer for the Territorial Highways Department. The original concrete flat slab design has two spans and is a good example of the historic rail type bridges typical of the 1930s Federal Aid bridges. Its parapets provide a pleasing design with open reinforced concrete balustrades of greek-cross voids and peaked concrete rail caps which distinguishes it from other bridges that lack this refined aesthetic quality.
The substructure of the bridge consists of reinforced concrete piers and abutments with lava rock wingwalls. The bridge is thirty-nine (39) feet long with the twenty-four (24) foot wide Honoapi`ilani Highway running between the slabs. As the major transportation route between Wailuku and Ma`alaea, it enabled the transportation of sugar.
The bridge is a representative of the public works project initiated by the territorial government of Hawai`i and constructed with federal work relief programs funds during the Depression years.
It’s workmanship demonstrates the labor and skill of its designer and builders.
Research from Historic Bridge Inventory 1894-1959, prepared for the State of Hawai`i Department of Transportation Highways Division in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highways Administration. Honolulu, 1990.
Bridge Improvement Plans
The office of Russel Gushi, Landscape Architect, prepared drawings (pro gratis) for the painting of the Historic Waikapu Bridge on the behalf of the Waikapu Community Association for submittal to the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation, Highways Division – Maui District. The submittal was made July 10, 2012. The intent of the submittal is to have the State review and approve painting the bridge the color scheme that was presented to and approved by the WCA during their last general meeting. The color scheme is more in character with the community instead of having the standard white the State normally paints their bridges. The review process may require SHPD’s review and approval as well so this process may be lengthy. It was noted on the drawings that with the sumittal it is not the intent of WCA to incur any of the costs related to having the bridge repaired (although it is in pretty good condition) and painted but to request that a more attractive color scheme be considered. WCA also offered volunteer help wherever reasonable (safe and not arduous).