State officials announce plans for future improvements following - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

State officials announce plans for future improvements following ZipMobile failures

Zip Mobile stalled near Waikele Zip Mobile stalled near Waikele
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The Hawaii Department of Transportation's (HDOT) two ZipMobiles used for the H-1 Freeway ZipperLane are both in operational condition after breaking down on Tuesday, Mar. 31, due to electrical malfunctions.

The original ZipMobile breakdown on Tuesday morning was caused by an intermittent electrical problem with its computer battery pack unit. As a result, the on-board CPU card was corrupted. A replacement was attempted using the computer battery pack unit and CPU card from the backup ZipMobile, but it suffered the same electrical problem.

A technician from ZipMobile vendor, Lindsay Corporation, was flown from California to Hawaii and was able to diagnose the problem, replace the battery pack units and reprogram the CPU cards on Wednesday. All other mechanical components of the vehicles were unaffected.

Both ZipMobiles were restored to full operational condition on Wednesday with the first at approximately 1 p.m. This ZipMobile closed the deployed ZipperLane between 2 and 4 p.m. The second ZipMobile was fully restored at approximately 5 p.m. and opened and closed the ZipperLane overnight for normal rush-hour operation this morning.

HDOT will be examining all aspects of the vehicle maintenance plan and its public outreach plans to better inform motorists of large-scale traffic incidents. These will include such items as:

· Backup units for the computer battery pack that failed will now be held in reserve in the event of future problems. Previously, this unit was not held in reserve due to its limited, one-year shelf life in storage. HDOT and Lindsay Corp. are also preparing a list of additional electronic backup parts that are practical to keep on hand.

· Lindsay Corp. will allow HDOT use of its proprietary software and train local staff on reinstallation procedures.

· HDOT is submitting a budget proposal to the State Legislature this week for the long-term rehabilitation or replacement for one or both ZipMobiles.

· Highway operational improvements are being considered to formalize use of freeway shoulder lanes during afternoon rush-hour traffic in various locations, such as the H-1 right shoulders from Pearl Harbor to Salt Lake and from Aiea to Pearl City, that were used in the Tuesday and Wednesday traffic backups.

· HDOT will be working with the City & County of Honolulu to improve public outreach for future traffic incidents. This will include regular media updates to television, radio and social media outlets.

· HDOT will be working will all counties and other state departments for major event coordination.

All H-1 ZipperLane operations next week will proceed as normal.

Copyright 2015 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly