The massive H-1 Freeway rehabilitation project is on track and could be done ahead of schedule, said Department of Transportation officials who toured part of the closed freeway with Gov. Neil Abercrombie Wednesday night.
The site visit came as the DOT has been closing all westbound lanes of the freeway during overnight hours to expedite the work. Those closures will also continue next week Sunday night to Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night.
The rehab project began in September. Transportation officials said that, weather permitting, it should end sometime this summer. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of July, but it's possible the work could be done by the beginning of that month.
"Things are still on time and crews are working hard day and night, making sure things are on time, quickly and safely," said Jadine Urasaki, the DOT's Deputy Director for Projects. "The whole thing is we want to be safe for everybody, not just for the driving public but for the workers as well."
Gov. Abercrombie, project officials and the media were taken to an area of the freeway between the Pali Highway and Queen Emma Street overpasses to get a close-up look at the work. Crews were busy laying down new asphalt in the left-most area of the westbound lanes, which had been excavated down more than a foot.
The governor acknowledged that the project has been an inconvenience to drivers, but said the work will be worth it.
"We're very grateful for people's patience. Thank you for your patience" said Abercrombie. "It's going to pay dividends in terms of commute time, convenience and safety."
More full freeway closures are scheduled as the project nears completion. The DOT said when the project is done, the H-1 will have an additional lane in both directions from Punahou Street to Likelike Highway to help address traffic congestion in the area.
The project includes reconstruction of freeway pavement, widening the Nuuanu Stream Bridge and the Palama Separation, and upgrading lighting and drainage systems. Crews are also increasing the height of glare screens between the westbound and eastbound lanes. Drivers are being asked to avoid the area if possible and use alternate routes.