Gridlock! H-1 Closure Paralyzes Oahu
Sep 5, 2006 08:55 PM
AIEA (KHNL) - An afternoon run-in with an oversized military truck and a freeway overpass leads to gridlock for thousands. An epic traffic mess now as west bound commuters try to make their way home.
Stephanie Lum: "Howard Dashefsky is in Chopper 8 tonight, and Howard how does it look up there tonight?
Howard Dashefsky: "Steph I can only tell you it does not look pretty. You know it's often used that term, the freeway looks like a parking lot. It may be a very much overused term but today that is very much the case. We're going to go down and take a look below us. This is the H-1, were very close to the merge over by the Pearl Harbor Area, where Kamehameha Highway comes off of the freeway viaduct.
"And if you look down it is just car after car. And when we say they are going nowhere, they are going nowhere. It's probably taking people better than an hour to move just a matter of feet. It is really slow going as cars are being diverted.
"We want to show you the source of the reason. It's a very ugly scene what happened on the H-1 freeway. Earlier today at about 1:30PM the overpass took a very good beating as you can see right here. What happened was the truck hit it. You can see the re bars and the steel bars pretty much being exposed. We can tell you that large pieces of concrete came raining down on the freeway. This is the reason.
"You just saw the big crane, an excavator that was on the back of the military trailer. Now state engineers were called out to the scene to take a look at the structure, the actual pedestrian bridge that went over. It wasn't a drive over bridge it was a walkway and fortunately it was one of the smaller pedestrian bridges. But it was hit with such a force, that it was actually shifted on top of the pilings that were holding it up.
"Now we learned just a while ago that the state is actually going to go and demolish that at about 7:00 PM Tuesday night and get it out of the way so that traffic could start moving again.
"Now we want to give you an idea of just how bad the traffic is with a couple of our video cameras here. This is the Moanalua near the Halawa onramp. You can see that traffic is all down to one lane as they're going to send it all down to Kamehameha highway. All the way back to the middle street merge.
"Often ugly going into town, well tonight heading westbound as you can see cars are going nowhere. Even as far back as the Pali highway, traffic is simply at a standstill. Now once again this happened at about 1:30 this afternoon. Once the state workers engineers went by and realized that the structural integrity of the bridge had been compromised, they decided to shut down the freeway altogether.
"It was a rather ominous sight as they had cones across every single lane of the freeway heading west bound. So if you're cooking dinner for someone or you're waiting for someone to get home, you probably want to turn the stove down to low or turn it off altogether because folks heading toward the central area or leeward area of Oahu, its going to be quite some time before those folks make it home.
"We are going to move on over to the Moanalua freeway. We are going to send it over back to you Steph. But well have an update in a few minutes from now. But suffice to say, as of right now traffic is going nowhere."
- Howard Dashefsky reporting live from Chopper 8 on KHNL News 8 at 6.