Project to ease ‘pau hana’ traffic about to ramp up

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People who work in town and drive through Central Oahu to get home can easily spend an hour in pau hana traffic.

But the State Department of Transportation is working to ease afternoon commute times by creating a PM ZipperLane, and the project is about to ramp up.

The DOT held a public information meeting Tuesday night at Pearl City High School to talk about the upcoming work.

Crews will start to build an extra lane on the H-1 Freeway westbound from the Pearl City on-ramp to the Waipahu off-ramp.

“So when you’re getting on the freeway at Pearl City heading west you’ll have a dedicated lane that’ll take you all the way to the Waipahu exit,” DOT Spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said.

The work will require lane closures and should be finished by Aug. 2014.

Meanwhile, to help alleviate some of the gridlock on the freeway in Aiea, the DOT plans to create a PM shoulder lane by re-striping lanes from the Aiea pedestrian overpass to the Pearl City off-ramp.

That work will begin in a couple of months since the design is still going through the review process and should be finished by Jan. 2014.

Meanwhile, the deck repair work on the Pearl City viaduct continues in preparation for the PM ZipperLane:

Westbound lane closures:

  • 7:30 p.m. – 4:30 a.m. (Monday to Thursday)
  • 9 a.m. – 4:30 a.m. next day (select Sundays)
  • Anticipated completion: Jan. 2014

Eastbound lane closures:

  • 6 p.m. – 4:30 a.m. (Monday to Thursday)
  • 9 a.m. – 4:30 a.m. next day (select Sundays)

The anticipated completion date is May 2014.

“We appreciate the public’s patience and understand it is an inconvenience, and they’ve been dealing with these closures. And unfortunately there are many deteriorated sections we’re trying to fix right now. So thank you,” Sluyter said.

Crews are taking a break from doing overnight deck repair work this week, but start back up again next week.

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