Relief is near for H-1 Freeway drivers

Relief is in sight for Oahu drivers.

The state’s H-1 Freeway Rehab Project, which started last September, is almost finished.

But until then, drivers will still have to deal with lane closures.

There was another full freeway closure Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Drivers are eager for the project to be done.

DOT Spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said: “So we will continue the four lanes that we did in the summer of 2012 that started at the Punahou and went to Pali, and now we’ll continue to the vicinity of Middle Street. So you’ll have four lanes through that whole corridor.”

The DOT says it still needs to finish striping and ramp work in the eastbound direction, and striping, paving, resurfacing, lighting and landscaping in the westbound direction.

When KHON2 inquired if there was any estimate on how many full closures there will be until the project is finished, the DOT shared that it will depend.

Sluyter replied: “It’s really dependent on the weather. We’ve had some bad luck with it raining night after night so it is causing more closures, so it depends how much work they can get done fewer closures. If it rains then we’ll have to continue with the closures.”

The DOT’s goal is to finish the work by July 23 or 24.

“But definitely by the end of the month,” Sluyter said.

And that’s a good thing since most public school students head back to class on August 1. And UH students head back to school on August 25.

KHON2 asked: “Tell me, what kind of difference do you notice if any as you commute?”
Traci Dalrymple of Wahiawa replied, “Morning commute in is definitely faster. I usually leave home at 7:15 – 7:30. Traffic is much better. I don’t know whether it’s the changes to the lanes or whether it’s due to school being out. and at night it’s quicker definitely.”

“It does seem like the traffic flows a lot smoother,” said Salt Lake resident Jody Mukaigawa. “But again I don’t know if it’s because of summer traffic and there’s less cars on the road and that could also be attributed to it.”

KHON2 asked the DOT what will be the true test of whether or not this works?

“I think it’ll take a few months,” said Sluyter. “As people get used to the different lane patterns and start driving it on a regular basis, then that’ll really be the test of time.”

So every night will be different as far as the closures.

The DOT will post daily updates on the project’s website http://www.h1rehab.com and we’ll also post traffic updates on http://www.KHON2.com.

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