Heavy traffic makes busloads of students tardy

Heavy traffic makes busloads of students tardy

The state's closing of Kamehameha highway around Karsten Thot Bridge snarled traffic for miles, messed up commutes for thousands of drivers, and made students and staff late at Wahiawa schools.

"We do have schools in the Leilehua complex where we have busses transporting children from Schofield to our neighboring schools, so that impacts the arrival of the children," Iliahi Elementary School principal Dale Tanouye said.

At Leilehua High School three bus loads of students arrived an hour and a half past the opening bell - 150 kids late for school.

The slowest stretch was getting out of Whitmore village.

Zechariah Thompson sat in the bumper to bumper.

"It wasn't fun. My truck was starting to run out of gas," he said.

"I wouldn't want to sit there. The bridge was the most convenient bridge. A lot of people were probably hurt by it," Brittany Robello said.

Some motorists were so frustrated; they turned around and went home.

North Shore Neighborhood Board Chairman Mike Lyons said it would lighten the rush hour load if Schofield Barracks helped.

"Hopefully they'll close a couple of gates temporarily so that people can flow through," he said.

Karsten Thot Bridge is 80-years-old, for the next six weeks the state will replace worn out rivets and beams on the structure. That means more traffic headaches.

"For us it's going to be a concern because it's our colleagues and staff that's going to be late. That means we would have to provide coverage for them," Tanouye said.

The State Department of Transportation will monitor traffic flow Tuesday morning.

If gridlock persists, it may modify the bridge closure to allow passenger vehicles to cross over Karsten Thot during the morning rush.

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