Ewa-bound work on H-1 through Pearl City postponed this week

The state will not be closing lanes in the Pearl City area after H-1 closures caused massive traffic jams last week.

State officials have decided to postpone roadwork so they can think about how to possibly change their plans to help drivers.

For nearly two years, Ewa-bound drivers in the Pearl City-Waipahu area have been dealing with backup on the H-1 Freeway.

“If you’ve been in that traffic, you would understand that it’s absolutely ridiculous to go from four or five lanes to one lane,” said Sen. Will Espero, (D) Ewa, Ewa Beach.

Sen. Espero constantly receives complaints from frustrated drivers and last week was no different. Two projects tied up multiple lanes on the major roadways and drivers heading home in the Ewa direction from graduation ceremonies added to the mess.

HART officials postponed lane closures on one of the evenings to help alleviate traffic. Now, the state is doing the same by postponing work for a week to figure out if it needs to make changes.

Possible changes include starting the project later during the evenings, limiting lane closures, and leaving the right lane open for Pearl City-bound drivers.

But changing the construction schedule — for example, starting later in the evenings — could also result in more work during the weekends or a project that takes longer to complete.

This project is expected to wrap up by the end of the year and will add one Ewa-bound lane between Pearl City and Waikele.

Most people KHON2 talked to would like the state to stick to that timeline.

“I’m all for getting it done in a timely manner as fast as possible,” said driver Matthew Cramer.

“Maybe I could see re-evaluating for a day or two, but why would you have to re-evaluate for a whole week? That just doesn’t make sense to me,” Sen. Espero said.

Any changes to the construction plan will likely be made later this week.

“Better planning would be greatly appreciated by most drivers,” said driver Evan Lum.

The state still plans to shut down two lanes of the H-1 Ewa-bound in the Pearl City area this Saturday at 11 p.m. until noon on Sunday to resurface the pavement.

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