DOT unveils project to resurface, add new lane to H1 Freeway

DOT unveils project to resurface, add new lane to H1 Freeway

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Department of Transportation is introducing a big fix-up of the H1 Freeway that includes resurfacing a three-mile stretch and adding an extra lane in urban Honolulu.

Transportation officials said an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 vehicles travel that stretch of the H1 in each direction every day. The work will cover an area roughly from Ward Avenue to Middle Street.

Part of the project will include re-striping to add an extra lane of traffic in each direction. That's already been done as a demonstration project along the Ward Viaduct to the Pali Highway offramp, and the DOT said it seems to be doing its intended job of making traffic flow more smoothly.

"The lanes are more narrow, so people do need to slow down, they do need to be cautious and be aware of what's around them," said DOT spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter. "But we have found that it is actually helping the traffic out."

The major part of the project will be to rehabilitate and completely resurface the freeway from Likelike Highway to Miller Street -- something that hasn't been done there since about 1999.

Transportation officials detailed some of the work, including an example of repairs to moderate pavement damage to the freeway. "This will require some restoration, so again, going about six inches down the pavement, taking off the asphalt and concrete, removing it and replacing it," said Jadine Urasaki, deputy transportation director for capital improvement projects.

Urasaki said that when completed, the pavement should be good for at least ten years.

The project also will include hearing the height of the median barrier and new street lighting.

The DOT said it will seek the necessary permits to allow some of the work to be done at night. "Obviously, there's so much traffic during the day, it wouldn't be feasible to do it during the day," said Sluyter. "Some of it would have to be done during the day, but we hope to do most of it at night."

Transportation officials haven't put a firm price tag, but initial estimates place the project's cost at $30 million, Sluyter said.

The DOT still has more meetings planned in the coming months. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2013 and take about a year to complete.