Major road project could have serious impact for H-1 drivers

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A busy stretch of the H-1 Freeway is going to get some major TLC, but it will come with a major headache for hundreds of thousands of drivers.

The $42 million H-1 Freeway Rehabilitation Project could begin as early as September. Work will be done at night from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m. on Sunday nights through Friday mornings.

The project will take a year to complete and involves shutting down complete sections of the freeway for up to 120 nights.

No matter what day or time it is, drivers on the H-1 know what to expect near Middle Street.

“Well it’s always slow there yeah? I mean, it’s pretty bad,” driver Caine Nakata said.

The state wants to improve the journey for drivers.

In September, the Department of Transportation hopes to begin work in the area, all the way to the vicinity of Ward Avenue, a 3.5-mile stretch.

“It’s one of the very oldest sections of the freeway. As people know, it is in bad condition. It’s more than resurfacing. We’ll be going down up to 12 inches,” DOT spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said.

The DOT will also restripe both sides of the freeway, adding a fourth lane in both directions.

According to Sluyter, there will be major traffic congestion while crews work on the project.

The year-long project will include nightly lane and ramp closures.

The contractor will also shut down the freeway in one direction at a time for up to 120 nights to get the work done faster.

“Nighttime, but still going be crazy. Still, no matter what you look at it,” Rivera said.

As part of this project, the state will also replace highway lighting, changing from globelighting to directional lighting.

“Well, the globe lenses can attract the migratory birds and this is more directional, so it doesn’t affect them as much,” Sluyter said.

“If it’s going to alleviate traffic, in the long run I guess it’ll be worth it, but I mean everything we’ve tried doesn’t seem to work,” Nakata said.

“We have to do what we gotta do to make it work, you know? Sacrifice, only for the better,” Rivera said.

This section of the freeway was last resurfaced about 15 years ago.

For more information, visit this website.

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