State adding extra lane to congested area of H-1 Freeway

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More than 200,000 cars travel the corridor from Middle Street to Punahou Street every day.

Starting in September, the Department of Transportation will be resurfacing and restriping the 3.5 mile stretch of the H-1 Freeway, making room for an additional lane in both directions.

“The current three lanes will be restriped for four lanes. So we will be back to the four 10-foot lanes, similar to what we’ve done to our demonstration project from Punahou to Pali,” DOT Deputy Director Jadine Urasaki said.

“This project will continue the four lanes all the way to Middle,” DOT Highway Division Administrator Alvin Takeshita said.

Many residents in the affected area are hearing about the night work scheduled between 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. for the first time.

“People got to work in the morning. They’re not going to like that at all,” Middle Street resident Philemon Gilmore said.

“There’s a lot of noise already. I can sleep through anything,” Lunalilo Street resident Adriana Quijano said.

The DOT applied for a noise permit, which is pending through the Department of Health.

Those who travel the stretch during the evening hours can also expect some slow downs.

“We want to get this project done as quickly and safely as possible. For this reason, we will be allowing the contractor to shut down portions of the freeway in one direction for up to 120 nights,” Urasaki said.

The DOT also wanted to give drivers a heads up on a few other major resurfacing projects scheduled to begin within the next two years: Vineyard Boulevard, Kalanianaole Highway from Aina Koa to Hanauma Bay, Kamehameha Highway from Waipio to Wahiawa, Liliha Street and the airport viaduct.

“I want to thank the public and their ongoing patience because this is going to tax all of us,” DOT Director Glenn Okimoto said.

Construction is expected to take about a year.

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

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