On April 15th 1998, the Ford Island Bridge was opened to vehicular traffic. The bridge spans Pearl Harbor from the Halawa section of Honolulu to Ford Island. The Hawaiians called this island Moku'umeume. It changed ownership many times. The modern name comes from its owner in 1866. Sugar-cane was grown here by the Honolulu Plantation until the U.S. Army took over during World War I. Then, finally the U.S. Navy in 1923. It is most famous as the site of "battleship row" which the Japanese attacked on December 7th 1941 and sunk or damaged many ships moored next to the island. The bridge took 2 years to build and cost $78 million. The bridge is 4,700 feet long, 46 feet wide with a floating pontoon in the middle. It replaces 2 ferries. The old ferry docks can still be seen on Ford island and near the Arizona Memorial Visitor Center. There used to be a U.S. Post Office on Ford island (zip code 96818) - now closed. The building is empty but still standing (as of January 1999) and the signs are still there (see photos below).

Enlargement of one of the two wall signs on the old vacant Ford Island Post Office building at left. This sign can be seen between the three windows and the lower doorway. The other sign is on the left side of the building (not seen in the photo).
(enelani photos © 1998)
ENVELOPE: White. Size 6.5" x 3.5" (165mm x 92mm)
CACHET: Aerial color picture of the Ford Island Bridge under construction (from a photo).
CACHET TEXT: "FORD ISLAND BRIDGE, PEARL HARBOR, GRAND OPENING - APRIL 15TH 1998" (in brown). Photo shows bridge under construction (Ford Island in the foreground & the USS Arizona memorial at right) Named Mokuumeume by Hawaiians, then Ford Island after its 1866 owner. Sugar-cane was grown here by the Honolulu Plantation until the Army took over during WWI, then the Navy in 1923. The bridge is 4,700 ft long, 46 ft wide with a floating pontoon in the middle. It cost $78 million, took over two years to build and replaces two ferries. Navy housing is planned for the 450-acre island."
STAMP: 12c Henry Ford stamp (Scott # 1286A) & 20c Hawaii Statehood stamp (Scott # 2080)
CANCELLATION: Circular date stamp cancel "PEARL HARBOR HI NAVAL STA. APR 15 1998."
COVER BACK: Contains the following text in small print (plus signature) below the flap:-
"I certify that this cover rode from Honolulu to Halawa and across the Ford Island Bridge on opening day Wednesday April 15th 1998. Continuing around the island, past the USS Arizona Memorial (just offshore) the old ferry slips, the Air Traffic Control Tower, and past the faded sign "Ford Island Post Office 96818" on the old Fire Station (now closed). Skirting the southern end of the auxiliary airfield, past the Navy brig, Navy housing, the USS Utah Memorial (wreckage from the December 7 1941 Japanese raid is still visible above the water), past the the island's small Golf Course and back over the bridge to Halawa and Honolulu."
ITEM # 98APR15
PRICE: $3.50
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