State plans to relieve traffic congestion in Wahiawa

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It’s a common sight on the H-2 Freeway — bumper-to-bumper in the shoulder lane as drivers try to take the Wahiawa exit.

“Traffic is just getting worse and worse,” one driver said.

“Sometimes it’s pretty annoying because it’s such a small town, so it shouldn’t be that much traffic at that place,” Wahiawa resident Sam Lamberth said.

“We also see traffic during the down season, in the sense that where when the military is deployed, the traffic still exists because of the amount of people who go to the North Shore,” said Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz (D) Wahiawa, Mililani Mauka.

The state is planning to restripe part of Kamehameha Highway. A lane would be added near Lake Wilson giving drivers three lanes heading north until Olive Avenue.

“Ooh, I love that extra lane,” a driver said.

Restriping part of the highway means getting rid of some on-street parking stalls. But Sen. Dela Cruz says that’s okay because there’s a public parking lot just a block away.

The state is also looking to remove a crosswalk on the highway at Olive Street, hoping to relieve some of the congestion there.

Residents say there’s usually a line of cars waiting to get on the highway because pedestrians are crossing.

“It’s not going to impede pedestrian traffic at all, but it will allow vehicle traffic to move a lot smoother,” Sen. Dela Cruz said.

But some residents are concerned about pedestrian safety.

“Because of familiarity how to get across the street, this is where they’ve done it. Where do they go from here? And they might just cross anyway,” Wahiawa resident David Lanz said.

The Department of Transportation says this project is in the preliminary stages and road work could start next summer.

But the work could just take a few days to complete.

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