Is “carmaggedon” coming to Oahu? With full H-1 Freeway closures in both directions starting Thursday, lane closures on Nimitz Hwy. and weekend closures planned on Kalakaua Ave. and throughout town, you may likely find yourself stuck in traffic. Here’s everything you need to know to avoid — or at least ease — your chances in gridlock.
Full H-1 Freeway closures in both directions go into effect Thursday night from Likelike Hwy. to Ward Ave. The closures take place Sunday nights through Friday mornings from June 12 through June 26, from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., nightly.
Related Story: Ways to get around H-1 Freeway closures
Here are your alternate routes (click here for maps):
- From Moanalua Freeway: Take the King St. exit, turn right onto Middle St., turn left onto Dillingham Blvd., continue onto Liliha St., turn right onto Vineyard Blvd., continue onto H-1 on-ramp
- From H-1 Viaduct: Take Dillingham exit onto Dillingham Blvd., continue onto Liliha St., turn right onto Vineyard Blvd., continue onto H-1 on-ramp
- From H-1 Freeway: Take the Likelike Hwy. exit, turn right onto School St., turn right onto Pali Hwy., turn left onto Vineyard Blvd., continue onto H-1 on-ramp
From H-1 Freeway, take the Vineyard Blvd. exit and:
- Turn right onto Pali Hwy., turn left onto School St., turn left onto Kalihi St., continue onto H-1 on-ramp
- Turn left onto Punchbowl St., turn right onto Beretania St., continue onto N. King St., turn left onto Dillingham Blvd., continue onto Kamehameha Hwy., take H-1 West Airport on-ramp
- Turn left onto Liliha St., turn right onto N. King St., turn right onto Ola Ln., continue onto Moanalua Freeway on-ramp
The city is trying to help the traffic flow. Employees at the Traffic Management Center monitored the side streets Thursday night and made adjustments to traffic light signals on the alternate routes, including School and King streets, and Vineyard Blvd. to keep traffic moving.
“It’s an art. You have to know how the signal system works,” said Ty Fukumitsu, Honolulu Transportation Services Dept. “You have to determine what’s causing the traffic backup. We do adjust the timing. In other words, we can give a little more time to the traffic that’s kind of stuck.”
Fukumitsu says it’s not common for the Traffic Management Center to be managed at night, but it happens.
“This weekend, we have the Kamehameha Day Parade, but also Sunday we have the Pan-Pacific Parade, which we’ll be at here at night also, adjusting the traffic for Waikiki,” he said.
Traffic is also expected in Waikiki throughout the weekend due to several events.
On Friday night, the Pan-Pacific Festival will hold a block party, shutting down Kalakaua Ave.
On Saturday morning, the 98th annual King Kamehameha Celebration Floral Parade will start at 9 a.m. at King and Richards streets. It will travel down Punchbowl St., turn onto Ala Moana Blvd., head into Waikiki along Kalakaua Ave. and end at Kapiolani Park.
Related Story: Celebrations commemorate Kamehameha Day
Then on Sunday night, the Pan-Pacific Festival takes over once again, shutting down Kalakaua Ave. from Saratoga Rd. to Kapahulu Ave. for a parade.
The Traffic Management Center will be staffed for part of next week too to monitor the traffic and make adjustments as needed. Once the traffic settles down and patterns are determined, automatic traffic lights can be implemented.
Several road closures will be in effect on neighbor islands as well Saturday morning to commemorate King Kamehameha I. Click here for a full list of closures.