UPDATE ON KAPAIA SWINGING BRIDGE
We’re happy to report that rapid response from the public showing support for the Kauai County Council resolution to transfer ownership of the bridge to the Kapaia Foundation was successful! On March 22, 2017, the Council unanimously passed Resolution 2017-23. Next steps? Kapaia Foundation will submit the grant application for the $231,000 the Council appropriated for the bridge in 2006, and hope to start rebuilding within the next couple of months. We’ll keep you posted.
ADVOCACY ALERT – March, 20, 2017
Kapaia Swinging Bridge was added to the list of Hawaii’s Most Endangered Historic Site in 2011 and remains vulnerable. Please lend your support by submitting testimony in favor of a resolution which will be voted on at the Kauai County Council on March 22. The resolution will transfer ownership, responsibility and funding for the bridge to the Kapaia Foundation who seek to preserve and restore it.
HISTORY OF THE BRIDGE
Imagine daily life in the 1920s in Kapaia Valley in the Territory of Kauai, where most of the plantation villagers traveled by foot because they could not afford to own an automobile. Back then the foot bridge across Kapaia Stream was heavily trafficked by Kapaia residents who used it to go to and from work, school, shopping and social time with relatives and neighbors. Completed in 1948, it connected two communities in Kapaia Valley: the east side was home to the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, a Filipino “camp”, Hawaiian and Japanese families, taro and rice fields; the west side was home to the Līhu‘e Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, Korean Methodist Church, Chinese Church, Naganuma Store, Ogata Store, Moriwake and Ah Chock’s Store. The Kapaia Swinging Bridge is listed on the Hawai‘i Register of Historic Places.
As automobiles emerged as the major form of transportation and sugar plantations ceased as the primary economic center, the bridge’s role as the prominent mode of transportation ceased. Today, it remains as an important historic symbol of Kauai’s history, its people, cultures and events–a living receptacle of a bygone era in Kauai’s history.
A resolution to transfer Kapaia Swinging Bridge to Kapaia Foundation will be presented for Kauai County Council approval Wednesday, March 22, shortly after 8:30 am at Council Chambers, 2nd Floor Historic County Building, 4396 Rice Street, Lihue.
The resolution transfers all rights and responsibilities for the upkeep, renovation, protection, preservation and restoration of Kapaia Swinging Bridge from the County of Kauai to the Kapaia Foundation. The county will also grant Kapaia Foundation the $231,000 that was appropriated for the bridge in 2006, when the structure was closed due to maintenance neglect. The funds will be used toward renovation and/or reconstruction and restoration of the bridge and efforts to preserve and protect it.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Support this resolution by submitting oral and/or written testimony to save the historic Kapaia Swinging Bridge. Those who are not able to attend because of work or distance can help by submitting written testimony before March 22. Even a short sentence: “Please help us SAVE Kapaia Swinging Bridge” is good! Email your testimony to:
You may also solicit individual support, by emailing one or more of the council members below:
Council Chair Mel Rapozo email@example.com
Council Vice Chair Ross Kagawa firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Arthur Brun email@example.com
Council Member Mason Chock firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member Arryl Kaneshiro email@example.com v
Council Member Derek Kawakami firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Member JoAnn Yukimura jyukimura@kauai .gov
Mahalo for helping to protect Hawaii heritage! Please share this campaign.