Bottleneck on the Freeway

Brennon Morioka
Brennon Morioka

HONOLULU (KHNL) - If you travel into Honolulu from West Oahu, you know the exact places where traffic congestion exists. They are the dreaded spots during the daily commute we all want to avoid.

It's a crawl at the H-1 and H-2 freeway merge. Traffic there can set your commute time back another 20 minutes.

Then, once you get through that mess, it slows down again at the middle street merge, where traffic from the viaducts meet at the h-one.

The state says, to ease that traffic jam, it may add a fourth lane to the H-1 from middle street, pass likelike, and up to the vineyard exit. But this improvement will come at an expensive pricetag.

Deputy Director of Transportation, Brendon Morioka says, "We're looking at between forty and fifty million dollars in construction costs." He adds, "We're still in the planning phase of that , so we don't have a real implementation time line right now."

After that tie up, you can always depend on traffic backing up at the kinau exit and punahou offramp.

Morioka says that closing some off ramps and on ramps in key locations, could ease this back log, like it did when the state modified another bottle neck area at the lunalilo on-ramp.

He says, "It's been very effective. People coming from Hawaii Kai and east Honolulu, have experienced maybe about a ten to fifteen minute decrease in their commute time."

The state says, it can easily put into motion the on-ramp and off-ramp changes,

but widening the freeway is part of a long range plan for Oahu, and may take years to implement.