Copper thieves cut fiber optic cables, knocking Honolulu traffic - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Copper thieves cut fiber optic cables, knocking Honolulu traffic cameras offline

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Commuters using the Airport Viaduct and the H3 Freeway will have no way of seeing traffic conditions before they jump into their cars after two dozen of the city's traffic cameras were taken off line.

The city says that over the weekend copper thieves slashed two of the city's major fiber optic cables that carry live video of the city's main traffic arteries.

The cameras themselves were not damaged and repairs are only expected to cost about $10,000. But the city says those fixes are going to take some time.

"The real impact is the down time in the cameras. Our cameras will be down anywhere from 15 to 30 days which means we can't see the traffic conditions at these 24 locations," said Michael Formby, director of the city's Department of Transportation Services.

The cameras out of service include those on the Airport Viaduct east and west-bound, on Fort Weaver Road, and all 18 in Kaneohe.

The loss of the cameras also affects the city's ability to manage the flow of traffic. That's because the severed cables allow the city's traffic management center to control stop lights.

The city is asking anyone with information about the theft attempt is asked to call the Honolulu Police Department.

"When we see things on the ground at the traffic management center ... we increase the green times, we increase the turn times to make the flow of traffic more efficient," said Formby.

"But we can't do that when we can't see what happens and can't control the signals."

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