East Oahu drivers brace for major repaving project on Kalanianaole Hwy.

Hawaii often tops the list of the worst places in the country when it comes to traffic, and now traffic is going to get even worse.

Kalanianaole Hwy. will soon be undergoing a major upgrade and that means road work and lane closures for drivers in East Oahu.

If you’ve ever driven along the highway, you’ve probably noticed the cracks and potholes. So has the Dept. of Transportation. Now, officials aim to fix that with a major construction and repavement project.

The project will begin June 23 and is expected to be completed in February 2016 along a four-mile stretch between West Hind Dr. and Hanauma Bay Rd.

DOT Highways Administrator Alvin Takeshita says it’s been way too long since the road has been fixed and now is the time.

“Some of the sections of this roadway, the last time they were repaired was about 30 years ago,” he said.

The $14 million project will be different from others we’ve seen. Instead of overnight construction, this one will take place during the middle of the day.

“Because it is in a heavily residential area, we are not able to do work at night due to the noise concerns,” said Deputy Director of Projects Jardine Urasaki, “so we’re limiting the construction to start after the morning rush hour and finish before the afternoon rush hour.”

Two lane closures heading east-bound will be in effect from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Many people who use the highway during those hours for work say they’re not looking forward to it.

“We have jobs in Hawaii Kai all the time, so I’m always driving down here it’s going to be bad,” said Dustin Leandro.

Raymond Cameron lives in Hawaii Kai and he thinks the construction should happen during the night.

“I think it would be a lot better at night. (There’s) less traffic when I drive at night,” he said. “During the day, there’s a lot more so it causes more headaches.”

While these types of projects most certainly cause headaches for motorists, Leandro also said he’s thankful the roads will be better as well.

“Obviously we’re thankful for that and you cant complain about that, I guess,” said Leandro.

“We all know that it has to get done and we are committed to improving our highways for all of our benefits,” said Urasaki.

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