Drivers to endure more freeway lane closures in Pearl City for repaving

H-1 Freeway

Drivers on the H-1 Freeway will have to endure one more month of lane closures in the Pearl City area as crews fix potholes on a recently opened lane.

Using the Report It feature on our website, viewers have been complaining about the new, Ewa-bound lane since last September.

“There’s a lot of potholes and stuff,” said driver Sheri Hirota.

“You can dodge it, but I’d rather not, because you’re getting super close to the wall,” said driver Carter Lai.

We’ve been following the project and told you the state was planning to fix the potholes. Now we’ve learned work is scheduled to be done by the end of February.

Part of the new lane used to be the shoulder lane. The state said it was always planning to fix it.

“Why we didn’t do it earlier is because we were opening up segments of that new lane so that the public can get immediate benefits right away,” said state Transportation Department spokesman Tim Sakahara.

HDOT added a lane to one of the most congested spots on the island — about 2,000 cars travel in each lane of the area every hour.

The majority of drivers KHON2 talked to have seen improvements to traffic since it opened.

“You’d always have to wait 15-20 minutes just to get to the exit itself, so I think it’s definitely helped people coming in from town,” Lai said.

Even though the state opened the lane in October, officials say the project is not yet done. Crews still need to restripe the Waipahu exit and fully repave the lane.

On Monday, we noticed black patches to the potholes that’s been bugging drivers, a temporary fix until a permanent one is in place.

The state has started adding a new layer of concrete mix starting at the Waipahu exit that’s expected to be more durable and is designed to prevent more damage.

That means more lane closures between Pearl City and Waipahu from Sunday nights to Friday mornings. Up to three right lanes will be closed as workers repave the lane, which should be done by the end of February.

Crews began working on the fixes last year, but took breaks for the holidays, and also stopped when it rained.

“They just need to fix the potholes and it’ll be all good,” Lai said.

The widening project, which includes restriping, will officially be completed in May.

Since the state had always planned to fix the potholes, there will not be an added cost to taxpayers.

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