Talk Story: trapped in traffic in West Oahu

Larissa Johnson
Larissa Johnson

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

EWA BEACH (KHNL) - The congestion out in West Oahu is hitting a boiling point. Residents get stuck in heavy traffic every time they go to work. One Ewa Beach resident says it's so bad, she feels like a hostage in her own neighborhood.

She says the traffic is so severe, she's missed several doctor appointments in town.

Crews are in the middle of building more roads to support all the development on West Oahu. But critics wonder why they're still not done.

With homes sprouting everywhere in what's dubbed as the up and coming "Second City", the big question in the Ewa, Kapolei, Makakilo area is - why build more, if the roads can't handle it all ?

"It just seems that there are so many houses being built and just not the infrastructure to support that," said Larissa Johnson, an Ewa Beach resident.

Johnson says there've been times when it's taken her 45 minutes just to hop on the H-1 freeway from her home.

Chopper 8 has this bird's eye view of the congestion during rush hour. Part of the problem: construction on Fort Weaver Road, the main drag in and out of Ewa.

Crews are widening lanes, but the daytime work clogs everything up, during on and off peak hours.

"I'd like to see construction at night if not 24/7, just to get it done. Because it seems like it's not that much road to get it finished and if they could just work and get it done, it would lessen the problems," said Johnson.

Construction of the new North-South road is underway to meet growing transportation demands of the Ewa Plain and Kapolei communities. Completion date is January of 2010.

That means West Oahu commuters like Larissa must wait until then before seeing a possible end to bumper-to-bumper headaches.

The State Department of Transportation says the reason new homes were built faster than the North-South road is because of delays.

A spokesperson says the city originally took on the project, but pulled out due to lack of funding. That stalled the project for a while, until the State stepped in and took over.