HONOLULU (KHON2) — The only road in and out of Laie was closed for most of the day because of a down utility pole. It finally reopened about 5:30 p.m. but not before it created a traffic headache. Near Polynesian Cultural Center, a portion of Kamehameha Highway, in both directions, was shut down about 2:30 Sunday morning.
Dozens of cars and tour busses made the long trek up to Laie just to be turned around. Crews took up the entire road to fix the down utility pole and wires.
Officers were letting people pass the roadblock on foot, so we’ve seen a lot of people park their cars right at the roadblock to cross or friends and family were dropping them off. The decision to drive around the island to reach the other side was mixed.
“We were going to have some Giovanni’s and go to Turtle Bay and watch the sunset and have a drink,” said Honolulu Resident Kristine Parmenter.
“It would be nice if they made something so people can get through. It’s a long way around,” said Honolulu Resident Richard Pinger.
Will they go around, we asked.
“no, it’s too late in the day,” said Pinger.
We learned when the utility pole toppled over, it took down Hawaiian Electric lines. HECO says 770 customers had no power, but before 8 Sunday morning power was restored.
Hawaiian Telcom owns the pole and shares it with Spectrum. We’re told the utility pole had to be replaced. Officials tell us they don’t know how it came down. Some say it could’ve been the weather.
“We asked somebody and said hey what’s going on because of the storm last night the power line apparently fell completely over,” said Laie Resident Debbie Pickens. “So it was coming down hard and fast here. There was thunder. There was lightning.”
The roadblock also impacted the bus service on Route 60. A two-mile stretch of Kamehameha Highway between Laia McDonald’s and Hau’ula Shopping Center had no bus service during the closure. Despite the disruption, many folks were not going to let it ruin their day.
“It’s beautiful so you can’t be bummed out about everything,” said Parmenter.
“We are living in paradise. It’s beautiful. We have a gorgeous drive to look at oh well,” said Pickens.