Update on lead remediation beneath Kolekole & Hakalau Bridges
HILO – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is updating the public on the efforts to address lead contaminated soil beneath the Kolekole Bridge and the Hakalau Stream Bridge along the Hamakua Coast.
In 2016, preliminary testing of the soil beneath the bridges was done as a safety precaution prior to planned construction work on the bridge footings. The preliminary testing found lead levels under Hakalau Bridge in excess of allowable levels and low lead readings under Kolekole Bridge. A link to our news release sharing these findings can be found here (link to http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/area-beneath-two-hawaii-bridges-being-tested-for-lead-contamination/). To protect public health, affected areas under both bridges have been closed to the public.
Since the original findings in 2016, HDOT has worked to determine the extent of the areas to be addressed by lead remediation measures. These efforts have been delayed by the need to address natural disasters such as the Lower East Rift Zone event at Kilauea and Hurricane Lane; repairs to the Hakalau Stream Bridge, and lack of available funding.
With disaster response, access, and funding considerations resolved, the current schedule is:
Additional work conducted at the park since 2016 has included conducting three rounds of detailed State Department of Health approved soil sampling to determine the extent of elevated lead levels.
- Mid-September – HDOT receives options for mitigation from environmental consultant
- Mid-September-Early October – HDOT evaluates mitigation options and identifies preferred mitigation plan
- Early October – HDOT confers with County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation on remedial options
- Mid-October – HDOT submits draft Remedial Action Alternatives Report to State Department of Health for review.
Additional work conducted at the park since 2016 has included conducting two rounds of detailed State Department of Health approved soil sampling to determine the extent of contamination. Additional sampling is likely necessary to further determine the extent of elevated lead levels.
- Mid-September – Environmental consultant submits work plan for additional sampling to State Department of Health for review
- Mid-November – HDOT receives additional sampling results and submits documents to State Department of Health for review
- Late November – Depending on the results of the additional sampling, HDOT either receives options for mitigation from environmental consultant or a plan to conduct additional sampling.
Additional information on lead in soils can be found on the State Department of Health website at http://eha-web.doh.hawaii.gov/eha-cma/Leaders/HEER/technical-guidance-and-fact-sheets (direct link to the PDF fact sheet here).
Source: Hawaii DMV