With repairs on schedule, state shoots down idea of adding Pali contraflow hours

Updated: Apr. 2, 2019 at 7:03 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state transportation department says it's "on schedule" to complete repairs to the landslide-damaged Pali Highway by the end of August.

But, unfortunately for drivers, officials have decided against adding more hours to the morning and evening contra-flow.

Ed Sniffen, HDOT's Deputy Director for Highways, says because of the aggressive construction timeline, they will be keeping the morning Honolulu-bound contraflow from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and the evening Kailua-bound route from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

"This gives us the best opportunity to maximize our construction schedule to not only get the repairs done in August, but also the reconstruction of the Pali Highway can be done in that August time frame too," said Sniffen.

There will also still be no access to the Pali on weekends or holidays.

Starting Monday, to help address some of the traffic congestion on the Windward side, Sniffen says HDOT will discontinue the morning coning at Castle Junction, which provided a second right turn lane from Kamehameha Highway onto the town-bound Pali lanes.

"A lot more people are trying to turn left, so for this period we're going to stop the coning. We're going to make sure everybody in that right lane can either go straight and turn left on Pali or turn right," said Sniffen.

Crews continue slope stabilization and rockfall mitigation work above the highway.

Sniffen says the catchment fencing is expected to be installed by the end of the month, and once the slope is safe, construction of the new tunnel structure can begin.

Work to restore the tunnel lighting is scheduled to be completed by June.

Transportation officials say the conservative cost estimate for the project is $21 million, but they say most of it will be covered by federal funding.

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