The gap is finally closed! Crews working on the rail project just finished connecting two very important segments over the H-1 Freeway in Pearl City.
Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transportation officials say that means there will be no more west bound lane closures on the H-1 near the H-1 H-2 merge. Officials add all east bound H-1 lane closures should end by September.
"People will see activity through the end of the year on this side of the balanced cantilever and on the other side into the Pearl Island Station but road closures will be a thing of the past," said HART executive director and CEO Dan Grabauskas.
Grabauskas said underground utility work near Kamehameha Highway and Acacia should also be wrapped up by the end of the year. He added work for crews in that area has been beyond challenging.
"It's really a spaghetti network of utilities that were below the roadway. Not a straight line. Things they thought were going to be there aren't there and things they didn't think would be there are," said Grabauskas.
Grabauskas says he expects to see issues like this continue as the project moves east into more urban areas. That could potentially cause further delays. Something else officials are taking into account is how lane closures are affecting area shops and restaurants.
"We really want to make sure we limit the activity during the daytime hours so we're not impacting businesses," said Grabauskas.
Officials say the combination of issues could push the project's total completion past it's scheduled date which is currently set for the end of 2019.
Meantime Grabauskas says HART will be out in the community ahead of construction.
"We talk to the businesses we tall to the residents. We let them know when there will be lane closures. If we can change some of the lane closures to accommodate businesses we are working to do that," said Grabauskas.