Lights, Camera, Traffic - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lights, Camera, Traffic

Georja Skinner Georja Skinner
Tammy Mori Tammy Mori

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Television and movie productions are thriving on Oahu, but they are driving motorists nuts.

Some of Oahu busiest roads have been closed to facilitate filming and another high impact closure is scheduled for Thursday, October 21.

People with the state who grant permits for road closures know the closures have an impact on traffic, but told Hawaii News Now the benefits of productions shot here often outweigh the inconvenience of road closures.

Friday, October 15, confusion over a permit kept the crew of "Hawaii Five-0" on Kalanianaole Highway through the afternoon rush. As a result traffic backed up from Aina Haina onto the H-1 Freeway.

In September the Kaneohe bound lanes of the H-3 were shut down until mid afternoon to facilitate a shoot for the movie "Battleship."

"I think what we have to look at is a balance. I mean we want to do that. We don't want to impact the community greatly, but the film industry and all that it brings to the state is so important to us, for our economy right now," said Georja Skinner, Chief Officer of the Creative Industries Division of the Hawaii Film Office.

Skinner said 2010 this is the biggest year ever for the film industry in Hawaii.

"We're at $391 million right now in terms of economic activity in just the film industry alone, and if you multiply that it's about $600 million into our general economy, so yes we need the film industry here and yes we have to be sure that we can balance this with our local communities," Skinner said.

The next scheduled closure will be on Nimitz Highway Thursday, October 21. Two East-bound lanes near the airport between Valkenburgh Street and Elliot Street may be shut down between 5 a.m. And 8 p.m. For a "Battleship" shoot.

"Some people are trying to pick up their kids or go to work and they're being inconvenienced, so we do apologize. We're trying our best to balance everything out and most of all use media outlets and get the word out there so they are award of these closures," said Tammy Mori, spokesperson for the state Department of Transportation.

Mori told Hawaii News Now some permit requests are denied especially when there is not an alternate route. And if traffic gets too bad, Mori said permits can be pulled and movie crews kicked off the road.

People are encouraged to avoid the Western most end of Nimitz Highway (under the Airport Viaduct between Valkenburgh and Elliot Streets) Thursday so they do not get stuck in traffic.

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