Explanation of Construction on H-1 Westbound and Kamehameha Highway
The state Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Honolulu Authority for Rail Transit (HART) are both working on two major roadways leading to the Mililani area – H-1 Westbound and Kamehameha Highway, which has caused considerable frustration about Mililani residents.
I have heard from many constituents regarding the construction, and in particular, the lane closures and severe nighttime traffic back-up the week of May 26. Accordingly, I reached out to the DOT for more information about the nighttime construction.
Per the DOT, the main reason for the 7:30 p.m. start time is the noise. The construction crew is only permitted to do loud construction digging with a hoe ram (the hydraulic machine) until midnight. Additionally, it usually takes about an hour for the crew to set up the cones and block off traffic, so digging and ground-breaking does not usually take place until 8:30-9pm. After midnight, construction crews can no longer make noise, so other work must be done until their 4:30 a.m. stop time. The DOT stated that they were working with the contractor to try and develop a later start time, but the start time would need to fit into the noise/time parameters.
I also asked about the possibility of the state and city coordinating construction schedules to help reduce commuter impact. The DOT stated that they typically coordinate with the city and the HART services, which is currently doing work on Kamehameha Highway, to reduce congestion. However, both the projects on H-1 and Kamehameha Highway are at a point where work needs to be finished and delays have caused the projects to coincide. This serious issue for Mililani residents does indicate a need for the Legislature to consider requiring additional coordination, planning and oversight for future projects during the next legislative session.
In response to severe traffic congestion the week of May 26, the DOT suspended H-1 evening work on the week of June 2 to enable the contractor to develop a solution to help mitigate the impact the roadwork had on commuters. However, both projects are at a point that major changes are unlikely. Construction on H-1 Westbound and Kamehameha Highway will resume the week of June 9.
Below is more detailed information about the nighttime construction, including location, times, dates, and lane closures:
H-1 Westbound Freeway
According to the state Department of Transportation (DOT), construction will resume on the week of June 9 on the Pearl City Viaduct, between the Pearl City/Waimalu Off-Ramp (Exit 10) and the Waipahu Off-Ramp (Exit 8B). Nighttime construction will take place from 7:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. nightly and will last through Friday morning. There will be no nighttime construction or lane closures on Tuesday, June 10 in observation of King Kamehameha Day. The two right lanes of H-1 Westbound will be closed during nighttime construction hours.
The DOT expects nighttime construction to continue throughout June. More information on the construction, including weekly construction hours and lane closures can be found at www.pmcontraflow.com.
According to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), two westbound lanes and one eastbound lane along Kamehameha Highway will be closed between Kuala Street and Waimano Home Road from Monday, June 9, to Friday, June 13 between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. There will be no lane closures on Kamehameha Highway Wednesday night, June 11. Left turns at Puu Momi Street onto Kamehameha Highway will be restricted after 8 p.m. during the nighttime construction.