Two freeway trial projects launch to help ease traffic

Local News

The state is starting two projects this month to help ease traffic on the freeways. The first one helps drivers decide between taking the Moanalua freeway or the H1.

Starting on Monday the digital board at the Liliha overpass will have the estimated travel times of the Moanalua freeway or the H1 airport viaduct from 3 p.m. To 7 p.m. The messages will also be on the digital board at the Kaamilo overpass on weekdays during the morning commute between 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

The Department of Transportation says this is to help drivers decide which route they want to take.

“Sometimes they choose the wrong route – there’s an incident that occurs,” said Ed Sniffen with the Department of Transportation. “There’s additional screening at military bases that they don’t necessarily know about and they may not have known about even if they pre-planned their trip.”

The state also plans to add four more digital boards. They’ll be working by August and September.

A Waianae resident says that he can’t wait to see the messages put up.

 “That would be really helpful you know. we don’t have to go one our phones or look, cause I go on my phone to look which way is faster.” said Ikaika Nahu-Freitas, Waianae resident. “If there is actually a board telling us where to go for a better alternative route, that would be helpful.”

The digital messages are also there for safety purposes.

“We always preach to stay off your phone while you’re in your car. Not everyone has a co-pilot with them. We want to make sure that we provide the information here as well as the radio so that whatever decision you make, you make it safely,” said Sniffen. 

The Department of Transportation will also be closing the eastbound Piikoi on-ramp for the next six months from 3 p.m. to 6:30 pm to test whether the on-ramp should stay or go.

They say that the last test was successful, improving travel time in that area of the freeway by six minutes, but they want to test the closure over a longer time period.

 “When we had restricted the usage for the Piikoi onramp, we saw that we didn’t have the people jumping two lanes to stay on the freeway so that weaving action that potentially dangerous action is eliminated now.”

The closure will begin in two weeks. The state is urging drivers to use the on-ramps at vineyard or ward during the closure times. After the 6 months are up, they believe they will be able to make a definitive decision on the ramp.

For more information on Department of Transportation projects and road closures, you can check their website here

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