South Kihei Road’s new bridge

A car passes over the new culvert bridge on South Kihei Road near Sugar Beach in Kihei on Thursday afternoon. The bridge’s opening Thursday made an immediate impact on lessening the backup of Kihei-bound rush-hour traffic on North Kihei Road. “It’s a big deal happy day for hundreds and hundreds, maybe even thousands of motorists traveling in and out of Kihei every day . . . yahoo!” said Mary Lawrence in an email. The road had been shut down since August to put in the new culvert bridge, a $1.9 million county project. The work was blamed for increased traffic congestion in South Maui.

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo