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Posted September 4, 2018, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

In the USA, spans under 20 feet are culverts.

As for this bridge, the design appears to be a Corrugated Multi-Plate Closed Spandrel Deck Arch Bridge.

Another example with discussion of type:

Also, the use of fill does not mean it is a culvert. Most closed spandrel concrete arch bridges are earth-filled.

Posted September 3, 2018, by Matt Lohry

I’ve seen very large culverts and very small arches, so I don’t think the difference is related to size—I think the difference is in the construction—culverts are place-and-fill, where the entire structure (round or rectangular, metal or concrete) is dropped into place and filled over the top. Arches are built up like bridges. Even though corrugated steel was used, this to me is built up as a bridge, and qualifies as an arch.

Posted September 2, 2018, by Luke

I would definitely consider this an arch, not a culvert.

Culverts are typically small. This is anything but small.

Posted September 2, 2018, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

My first reaction was to the classing of this as a culvert. As I looked more closely I see why it was given that tag. Corrugated steel was used to form the arches. Even with that I would say that this is a closed spandrel steel, concrete and stone arch. Anyone want to say why I am wrong?

Posted January 19, 2018, by Luke

According multiple local sources and the .pdf I added, what is currently extant is a replica span.

I'll let the rivet counters decide if we should re-mark it as "Open to traffic" or leave it marked as "Replaced"

Posted December 2, 2017, by Mike Daffron (daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com)

Let me be the first to say that I'm happy to see this Ahole listed here.

Posted April 17, 2017, by Steve Hindle (steveh2010 [at] hotmail [dot] com)


Tried to get to the bridge today but the road down to it is now gated with a sign saying road closed - it looked like a permanent feature with concreted in gate posts, big locks.....

Posted October 2, 2016, by Stephen Sutter (kontiki [dot] hawaii [at] gmail [dot] com)

Prior to the bridge shown here over Hakalau Stream, there was a covered bridge built around 1898.

The photo below, that might be from the 1920's, is of Hakalau Valley which includes Hakalau Stream with the covered bridge crossing the stream. This can be seen on the left side of the photo.

On the right of the photo, one can also see the old Hakalau Planatation Co. camp housing that sits just off the main highway, now called Old Mamalahoa Hwy. This old highway now stops at the bottom just this Bridgehunter photo sits. It used to climb up out of the valley on the right side.

Posted April 4, 2016, by Michael Taylor (Battlebotguy2 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Appearantly this bridge is involved in a bizzare 29 year old event where they dump loads of rubber duckies from the bridge each year. It's called the Great Hawaiian Rubber Duckie Race... There is a video of it on Youtube but not that many shots of the bridge, but it is bizzare to say the least.

Posted April 4, 2016, by Michael Taylor (Battlebotguy2 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

70 years and 4 days ago this bridge was destroyed and many over 150 lives lost when on April 1'st the Aleutian Islands Earthquake struck creating a tsunami that devastated the Alaskan and Hawaiian coasts. However where a dark cloud is a silver lining exists and this ones silver lining was good.

After the tsunami a new warning system was put in place so that a disaster of this magnitude never happened again.


Posted April 4, 2016, by Michael Taylor (Battlebotguy2 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

So I found a video on Youtube with some great closeup footage of the rivets and trestlework for all my fellow bridge nuts its worth a look

Posted December 27, 2015, by Anonymous

Looks more like a concrete tee beam bridge to me, not a pony truss.

Posted August 3, 2015, by Andy Peters (anpete [at] yahoo [dot] com)

The Hawai'i DOT is beginning a $7.9 million project to repair the Karsten Thot Bridge. "The project is expected to prolong the life of the bridge and improve safety for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. The steel truss bridge was last repaired in 2012. This project will repair corroded structural steel, walkways and guard railings. The bridge willalso be repainted."

Posted July 2, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

This news article cracks me up:

It says the bridge "retains its historic configuration." Sure, if you think that complete demolition of a t-beam superstructure and replacement with a pre-stressed concrete slab superstructure is "retaining a historic configuration."

Posted January 20, 2013, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

I'm not sure which bridge this is - the old or new Mamalahoa Rd.

Hawaii Belt Road is also called Mamalahoa and in general it follows the HCR railroad alignment which was converted to automobile use in the late 1940's. This is the new one. The old Mamalahoa road is the one that winds it's way down at each river and stream crossing where the former railroad alignment uses tall bridges and trestles.

Before I moved the marker, it was a couple miles out to sea. I moved it to the old Mamalahoa road crossing because that seems to fit the date better. But the NBI length and span info seems to match the new road. But the NBI also lists a steel stringer crossing this stream for Hawaii Belt Rd.

Anyway, I'm guessing this is the one on the old road. And I'm noting it here for future editors.

Posted January 16, 2013, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

Looks like seismic upgrades are the excuse for modernizing this old span.

"The wooden deck will be replaced with steel beams and a steel grating deck. Concrete rock anchors and micro-pilings, as well as lateral structural steel bracing members, will be installed to strengthen the deck and bring it up to speed with earthquake code requirements."

-- Big Island Now, July 27th, 2012

Posted January 11, 2013, by Fmiser (fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com)

Here's an odd one!

A through truss railroad bridge build before 1913 has one of it's three spans washed away in a tsunami in 1946. The two remaining spans are moved, and become deck trusses for a highway that uses the railroad alignment.

I found out about this when talking with the nephew of the county highway engineer responsible for the clever reused.

There are probably other bridges along this Hawaii Belt Rd that are actually older than the 1950's date when the highway department took over.

Posted September 18, 2012, by LessZoa (less [dot] zoa [at] gmail [dot] com)

The bridge was closed on Sunday, September 16, 2012 for much needed repairs. Trusses and rivets/bolts have been rusting without proper maintenance and the bridge has become a safety concern.

Traffic was limited to vehicles below 10-tons, removing city bus, construction vehicles and larger truck access; however local police have noted not everyone followed the highly visible advisories set up along Kamehameha Hwy. A decision was made to totally close the bridge to expedite repairs.

The closure has snarled commuter traffic coming from the North Shore, Whitmore Village, and the Naval Communication Base (NCTAMS) in the early morning on Monday, September 17, 2012. Many on their way to work sat in the long, single lane traffic for over an hour without even getting out of Whitmore. Bused students to area schools were late by as much as 2 hours.

Work is expected to take approximately 6 weeks, however local sentiment (this writer admits to being a little biased here) expects it to take much longer. Continuing coverage by local news outlets can be found over the internet.

Posted February 13, 2008, by Ralph Kam (ralph [dot] kam [at] gmail [dot] com)

Bridge is named Karsten Thot Bridge.

Posted February 3, 2008, by Joan Kim (jtkim5051 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Who were the builders of the bridges in Hanalei? I was told that my father built a bridge in Hanalei as a young contractor, which survived tidal waves, where others fell.