HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city is delaying the start of new rail work in Pearl City for a few days due to other state road projects on the H-1 this weekend. Crews were supposed to start blocking off lanes at the intersection of Kamehameha Highway and Acacia Road near Pearl Highlands Center on Friday night. The project, which will involves 24/7 lane closures, will now start on Monday night. City officials believe the delay will allow drivers to adjust to the changes all week, before the full impact is felt next weekend.
Mililani resident Ron Happek drives to Pearl City several times a week to run errands, but now he'll be changing his schedule.
"I will probably come to the post office less. Probably two days a week. Cut down my shopping at Sam's Club," said Happek.
One westbound left-turn lane heading to Home Depot and the inside westbound lane of Kamehameha Highway near Acacia Road will be closed. Crews will also block one eastbound left-turn lane from the highway onto Acacia Road.
"It's going to impact traffic a lot, especially on the weekends because we do have a lot of shoppers," said Kapolei resident Leianna Catekista. "It's going to be crazy. A lot of upset drivers."
The city changed the design to allow eastbound drivers to still make a U-turn to get to Sam's Club.
"What would have happened if we took away that U-turn is they would have to go up Acacia and we were kind of concerned there would be a backlog of traffic," said Scott Ishikawa, a spokesman for the Honolulu Rail Transit Project.
Meanwhile, state DOT crews will continue deck repairs on the H-1 Airport viaduct this weekend. Three eastbound lanes will be closed from the Radford Drive Overpass to the Airport Off-Ramp from 9 p.m. on Friday though 4:30 a.m. on Monday. In the westbound direction, deck widening work will be happening from Aiea to Waipahu. Three lanes will be off-limits between the Kaamilo Street Overpass and the Waipahu Off-Ramp starting at 9 p.m. on Saturday through 11 o'clock Sunday morning. Then only two lanes will be closed though 7 p.m. on Sunday.
"I stopped going on the viaduct cause that's a nightmare, too. No matter which direction you go, east, west, you're stuck in traffic," said Happek.
"We need to get the work started at some point, but we didn't want to start the work at the same time the state was going on with their freeway work. We thought that would be a little too much for the drivers so kind of ease folks into it," said Ishikawa.
Crews will be building the underground foundation for the columns that support the elevated guideway. The lane closures are expected to last until the middle of 2015.