State prefers adding lane in Mililani Mauka

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There’s relief on the horizon for Mililani Mauka residents fed up with traffic.

But it will likely take years before drivers see an improvement.

The state isn’t completely done with their traffic study even though money for it was approved three years ago.

They are leaning towards one particular traffic solution.

There’s only one way in and out of Mililani Mauka which can create a traffic mess.

“It’s awful,” a resident said.

“It gets kind of bad. It gets congested, especially in the morning here,” a driver said.

Especially when businesses keep popping up at the only shopping center in Mililani Mauka. It sits next to the congestion and drivers say it adds to the backlog.

“We understand their frustrations, you know, unfortunately we do live in an island state and I think there’s so much congestion everywhere,” state Department of Transportation spokesperson Caroline Sluyter said.

According to the DOT, nearly 1,300 vehicles use the H-2 Freeway town-bound on-ramp during the busiest time of the morning rush hour.

During the past summer, the state looked into possible solutions. They came up with four solutions, which they presented to residents Thursday evening.

The DOT prefers this option: adding a second lane to the town-bound on-ramp, as well as a traffic signal. It would cost between $7 million and $10 million.

“I think the double loop preferred option is probably the safest. It’s probably the more expensive,” said Sen. Michelle Kidani (D) Mililani, Waipio Gentry.

This solution would cut down on travel time to get to the freeway from 13 minutes to four minutes.

But the state needs to study this further before committing. So lawmakers say it will take several years before any work would begin. In the meantime, construction at the shopping center continues.

“And so it was planned. Maybe those moving in didn’t understand the plans at the time, but they also want the services,” Sen. Kidani said.

The traffic study costs between $200,000 and $300,000. Some of the other options the state looked into involved restriping and building pedestrian walkways. But they feel adding a second lane to the on-ramp would be best.

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