Lane closure snarls westbound H1 Saturday traffic

Lane closure snarls westbound H1 Saturday traffic

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Traffic on the H-1 Freeway was slowed down in the westbound direction for much of Saturday as road crews closed a lane as part of the H-1 Rehab Project.

"It sucked," said one motorist.

"It was crazy," said another.

"It was a nightmare," another one said.

The lane closure was expected but the congestion was not.

"The traffic impact was greater than anticipated so we are making adjustments to address that as well," Caroline Sluyter, Hawaii Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said.

The DOT closed down the right lane from the Houghtailing Street offramp (Exit 20B) to the Gulick Avenue overpass so that crews could rebuild a concrete wall just after the Likelike Highway offramp.

The lane was originally scheduled to be closed until 5 a.m. Monday. But because of speedy work and gridlock, those plans changed.

The DOT said it anticipated the work would be completed by 9 p.m. Saturday, but if crews finish early the lane will be opened sooner.

On Sunday, crews in the area will only work in the shoulder lane and won't have to close the lane again. Sluyter suggests alternate routes just in case.

"A good alternate route might be to take Kapiolani or King Street and then get back on at Middle Street to avoid the area," said Sluyter. 

Transportation officials apologized for the inconvenience.

Meanwhile, she said beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, the H-1 Freeway westbound onramp from Kalihi Street (Likelike Highway) will be closed continuously except during the morning rush hour from 5 a.m. until 9 a.m. The onramp closure is scheduled to continue through July 25, but may open sooner if work is completed before then.

Once the project is over, Sluyter says the the roads will be durable and smooth and there will be upgraded lighting and drainage.

Despite the headache, some drivers say it's worth it.

"I like all of the construction that they've done so far. It's actually gotten nicer."

For the latest on the H-1 Rehab project and lane closures click HERE.

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