State kicks off 2-year, $64M project to upgrade Pali Highway

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Transportation Department is about to start a $64 million makeover of the Pali Highway that will include installation of 450 LED street lamps and resurfacing of the main thoroughfare from Waokanaka Street in Nuuanu to Kamehameha Highway on the windward side.

"We're trying to minimize the daytime lane closures to those times that are off-peak. Peak times we're committing that you'll have your full lanes through the work zone. Off-peak we'll have single-lane closures but we'll minimize the length of the closures," said Ed Sniffen, HDOT Highways Deputy Director.

There will be times at night when the Pali will be closed to traffic altogether and motorists will have to use another route.

Reaction from people who drive the Pali is mixed.

"Is it necessary to resurface? it takes a long time. We already have a lot of traffic problems as is," Kim Rand said.

"I think that will be a good upgrade for us. I'm looking forward to it. We just got to put up with traffic for little while," Derrick Kalei said.

An average of 50,000 vehicles cross the Pali daily. To create construction space traffic lanes will be narrower.

Some of the work will be in front of homes along the Pali, raising noise concerns..

Ed Brown of contractor Goodfellow Bros., Inc., believes it won't be overbearing.

"A lot of the night work is not going to be loud night work. We're going to be doing the concrete median. It's not heavy excess construction noise so I don't think it will be that much of a disruption to them," he said.

The state's projecting the project will take about two years to complete, beginning next month and lasting through March of 2019.

"For pedestrians not only will we have better lighting, we'll have better striping, better signage," Sniffen said. "Everything will be improved from a safety perspective."

The project costs $64 million, eighty percent of it is federal funding.

To get the latest on the Pali improvement project, including lane closures, go to

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