The Zipmobile once again malfunctioned and became stuck with the extra lane deployed, the State Department of Transportation said Wednesday afternoon.
According to DOT spokesperson Tim Sakahara, a small electrical fire sparked in the engine that powers the Zipmobile, temporarily disabling its driving function. At the time, the Zip barrier was still deployed on the H-1 Freeway in the Westbound direction near the Airport offramp to Nimitz Highway.
The engine that powers the vehicle's hydraulic arm to open and close the barrier segments was still operating, and a tow truck was used to pull the Zipmobile to close the remaining barrier segments over roughly one mile, says Sakahara.
The Zipmobile is now in the 'Zipper Hale' maintenance facility on the Airport Viaduct for repairs. The backup Zipmobile is functioning and will be used for normal operations tomorrow.
This is the second time in recent weeks that the Zipmobile has malfunctioned. In March, it stalled in the Waikele area while removing the extra carpool lane used for the morning eastbound rush. A mechanic from the mainland had to fly to Hawaii to repair it, and a massive traffic backlog resulted.