Contraflow scheduled on Ala Moana Blvd. for up to six weekends for drainage repair

Drivers along Ala Moana Boulevard will encounter a major traffic change on the weekends.

The road will be closed in either the eastbound or westbound direction between Queen and Piikoi streets over the next six weekends in October and November for repair work, weather permitting.

For the weekend of October 7-9, 2017, all eastbound lanes will be closed, and traffic will be contraflowed in the westbound lanes with two lanes open for westbound traffic and one lane open for eastbound traffic.

The contraflow direction will change the following weekends depending on the amount of work completed during the closure.

Lane closures are tentatively scheduled from 5 a.m. Saturdays through 5 a.m. Mondays as follows:

  • Oct. 7-Oct. 9
  • Oct. 14-Oct. 16
  • Oct. 21-Oct. 23
  • Oct. 28-Oct. 30
  • Nov. 4-Nov. 6
  • Nov. 11-Nov. 13 (tentative)

“The work area itself is very small,” said Tim Sakahara, Department of Transportation spokesman. “It’s less than 700 feet, so it won’t take very long to get through the actual work area. Still that being said, people should try to avoid the actual work area, go on Waimanu Street, Kona Street, and Kapiolani Blvd as alternate routes.”

The DOT says the drainage system under the road is deteriorating.

“It’s deterioration over time with the elements and exposure to the water and everything that goes along with the water,” Sakahara said. “This is actually a man-made concrete structure that’s beneath the roadway.”

Construction crews will replace the top segment of a double box culvert that runs beneath Ala Moana Boulevard. Construction will remove the existing pavement and median, replace the top slab of the culvert and then restore the pavement and median to match the existing roadway.

The state did a temporary fix in March and imposed weight restrictions, affecting vehicles over 25 tons. We wanted to know if that would be the case again this time around.

“Because of the work we’ve already done in anticipation for this, there won’t be any weight restrictions at this point,” Sakahara said.

Electronic message boards will be posted to inform motorists of the closures. Emergency vehicles, first responders and TheBus have been notified and will not be allowed through the work zone. All vehicles will be detoured to use the contraflow lanes. Police officers and/or flagmen will be onsite to assist with traffic control.

KHON2 reached out to TheBus to find out how many bus routes the construction would affect. Bus officials declined to speak on camera, but told KHON2 that eight bus routes are affected, but only Route 6 will have to take a short detour during weekend construction.

TheBus officials also said that they have been experiencing intermittent lane closures for the last couple of weeks and haven’t had to deal with too many delays. They said they would continue to monitor the situation and would make changes as needed.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation says weekend closures allow crews to work continuously and expedite the completion of the overall project in half the time.

It says construction to the drainage culvert may continue through the holidays, but officials would not schedule any full weekend closures from Thanksgiving through January 1, 2018.

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