Major project will shut down lanes of the H1 for a year

Published On: Sep 09 2013 06:34:07 PM HST
Updated On: Sep 10 2013 09:32:27 AM HST

Commuters need to be aware this is going to slow down traffic on one of the busiest sections of the H1 from Middle Street to Ward Avenue.

HONOLULU, Hawaii -

Commuters need to be aware a major project is going to slow down traffic on one of the busiest sections of the H1 from Middle Street to Ward Avenue. About 200,000 vehicles go through the section daily.

The project will cover 3.5 miles of the H1. The H1 Rehabilitation Project will start in two weeks on Sunday, Sept. 22nd. On the first two nights of the project, the eastbound lanes of the freeway will shut down completely from Likelike Highway to Ward Avenue from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. After that, Sunday nights through Friday mornings, there will be one lane closure then another at 11 p.m. in both directions. That's a lot of cones, a lot of construction, but planners say the payoff will be worth it.

"This is more than a resurfacing project. We will be making repairs in the concrete up to 12 inches deep to address underlying deterioration. We will also be replacing highway lighting in this area with upgraded cutoff lenses that are more environmentally friendly for astronomers and migrating birds," said Glenn Okimoto, director of the DOT.

The light at the end of the tunnel: one extra lane in each direction. That will create eight instead of six total lanes,  and with no potholes the DOT expects those repairs to cut your commute time.

"Going 35 to 40 mph is much better than being stuck in 5 mph traffic so we do anticipate a lot of improvement," said traffic engineer Alvin Takeshita.

But, do expect more than 100 days of freeway closures. The DOT says it'll try to make alternate routes more efficient for drivers.

"The traffic engineers have been working with the state and the construction manager to make sure we can keep the green lights on longer to facilitate more movement through the intersections," said Mike Formby, director of transportation services.

There is an incentive to finish the $42 million project on time. The DOT hopes to get it done by the end of July next year. The incentive: There will be a $25,000 penalty each day the project carries over.

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