Full freeway closures expected as H-1 Rehab nears finish line

Starting Sunday 8:00 p.m. night, Honolulu drivers will encounter full freeway closures once again.

This time, all east-bound lanes will be closed from Likelike Hwy. to Ward Ave., and only one lane will be open going west-bound.

The closures will last for three weeks, then the works switches sides. All west-bound lanes will be closed and east-bound drivers will only have one lane.

The good news is that the H-1 Freeway Rehab Project is inching toward the finish line.

“The pavement work is the major part of the work remaining,” said Alvin Takeshita of the Dept. of Transportation Highways Division. “We are also going to be completing the widening of Nuuanu stream bridge, the Palama separation structure.”

Transportation officials say about 150,000-190,000 vehicles drive along that stretch of the H-1 every day. Once the roadwork is done, the number of lanes will increase from three to four.

“We anticipate that we will have about a 25-30 percent increase in capacity for this area,” Takeshita said.

The $42 million project is funded with federal and state money. So far, 200 workers have been busy keeping it on time and on budget.

With another three months of work expected, the Honolulu Police Department is reminding drivers to make sure the roads are safe for everyone.

“There is a change in speed limit,” said Maj. Lestor Hite. “It’s important any time there’s construction on the highway. The freeway is serious and as everyone knows we lost officers assisting motorists.”

The fine for speeding in a construction zone is $307. Last year, HPD issued 154 citations on Oahu. So far this past January and February, 68 people have been cited mainly for speeding in H-1 Rehab areas.

Officials remind motorists to drive responsibly and with patience.

“We may have to close both the east- and west-bound directions and this will be toward the lateral part of the project,” Takeshita warned.

Motorists are advised to use alternate routes and to avoid construction zones, nearby intersection street lights have been altered to accommodate the lane closures.

To track the progress, visit H1Rehab.com.

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