Kauai bridge not damaged by floating cargo container
The Hanapepe Bridge, one of two bridges on Kauai struck by an empty cargo container floating in the flood-swollen Hanapepe River last week, was reopened Friday after inspectors found no damage from the collision.
“We did a visual inspection of the bridge and there is no evidence of structural damage,” Deputy County Engineer Ed Renaud told KHNL TV news. Renaud said the bridge's integrity remains sound.
A cargo container floats down the Hanapepe River. Screen capture from KHNL-TV.
The bridge, which carries Hanapepe Road over the river, was struck by an empty, privately owned cargo container on Feb. 3. The container had been whisked away by the flooded Hanapepe River following several days of intense rain on the island. The Kaumualii Highway Bridge, also struck by the container, was not damaged and remained opened.
The 20-foot steel container moved past the two bridges after the impacts, and a Coast Guard attempt to locate it on Tuesday in the river and Hanapepe Bay came up empty-handed.
County inspectors, hampered by the weather and fast moving floodwaters, were unable to assess the damage to the bridge until Friday when the river level returned to normal.
The container, which bore the Matson Navigation Co. name, was a Matson container sold though Container Storage/Kauai Commercial Co. to Monsanto Hawaii, according to Matson.
Wendell Rich, the site manager for the Monsanto farm station upriver from the bridge, confirmed that the container belongs to Monsanto and the firm has been in the process of contacting county, state and U.S. Coast guard officials.