Windward Oahu drivers breathe sigh of relief over extended hours of Pali Highway

Windward Oahu drivers express relief over extended hours of Pali Highway

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Some much anticipated news for Windward Oahu drivers: The Pali Highway will be open in both directions for daytime use six days a week starting Sept. 1.

State Department of Transportation officials are reopening the highway Sunday through Friday from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The road will be shut down in both directions on Saturdays and most holidays.

Angie Rutledge is one of thousand of drivers who’ve endured months of out of the way detours and early wake up calls just to get her kids to school.

“She goes to Myron B Thompson and we live in Enchanted Lakes, so Pali is like everything to us,” said Angie Rutledge.

She added, “We would probably have to leave 45 minutes sooner than normal. It’s a huge deal that it’s opening. Oh my gosh, I’m so excited.”

The Windward Oahu mom is far from alone.

“Of course I’m glad," driver Terrence Yano said. “Everyone will be glad. Can’t wait until everything is done.”

The extended hours come as DOT crews wrap up the first phase of a months-long hillside stabilization project that has already faced delays.

Emergency repairs started in February following multiple rockslides caused by record rainfall.

Workers are also building an 80-foot structure at the entrance of the second Honolulu-bound tunnel to protect drivers from falling debris.

Officials say drivers should still expect intermittent lane closures from now until construction is complete.

Even still, residents say the new hours will provide much-needed relief.

Steve Colter said, “It’s not only me. There are businesses here that tell me people don’t come here from downtown. They lost 50% of their business because of the change.”

The DOT expects to have the Pali Highway completely reopened sometime in November.

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