DOT: All lanes of Kamehameha Hwy. reopened near Waimea Bay

TRAFFIC ALERT: Contraflow extended for Kamehameha Hwy. near Waimea Bay

NORTH SHORE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kamehameha Highway near Waimea Bay has been reopened early Wednesday, the state Department of Transportation said.

A single-car crash damaged utility poles on the highway around 8:40 a.m. Tuesday, and crews worked through the day to fix them. Police said a driver of a flatbed truck apparently lost control, hitting a guardrail, then the poles.

Both directions of the highway were reopened around 5 a.m. Wednesday, but the DOT said more repairs may be needed.

North Shore resident Marianne Will was near the crash when it happened.

"This morning, there was this huge crash and there was some pebbles that hit the house," she said.

"You don't hear noises that loud. I told my husband it was like an explosion," she said.

A Hawaiian Electric Co. spokeswoman said power was out for about an hour and a half for 265 customers.

"We knew something bad had happened because usually when there's no power...that means that there was something major that had happened in the neighborhood," Will said.

The highway was closed in both directions for much of the day.

"We drove four hours from Waikiki beach just to go and see the falls and we wanted to have donuts up there. So what are we gonna do now," asked Max Shamooil, a visitor from Los Angeles.

Shamooil and his family, along with countless other motorists, were turned away and told they couldn't get through to Haleiwa.

"This is it, we gatta go all the way back, pack our bags and go back to LA," Shamooil said.

A contraflow lane opened shortly after 5 p.m. as crews continued to replace two utility poles and straighten out the third. The contraflow backed traffic up for hours.

"It was awful. Three hours to get from Waikiki to the North Shore," Will said.

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