A $10 million road project in Nanakuli is supposed to ease congestion for Leeward Oahu drivers, but right now, residents say it’s putting motorists at risk.
The state is widening Farrington Highway between Nanakuli and Haleakala avenues.
A new center line has been painted on and the old one has been blacked out, but residents say it was poorly done and is confusing drivers.
Residents say since the new center line was moved, they’ve seen many close calls. KHON2 received several messages via Report It alerting us to the problem.
The new yellow center line has been moved about a foot mauka along Farrington Highway. But even though the old line has been painted black, residents say during the mornings and late afternoons, with the way the sun hits the road, the old line is more visible.
So drivers don’t know which is the real center line.
“People are actually crossing over mistakenly into the other person’s line. We’ve had near-accidents, near head-ons out here,” said Waianae resident Bryan Wittekind.
The problem doesn’t just happen on sunny days. Rain makes it even worse.
“The paint is ridiculous. In the downpours that we’ve had out here at night time, you can’t even see any of the lines. Hopefully this will get resolved before someone gets killed, because it’s a bad situation out here,” said Maili resident Carl Burns.
The whole idea for the project is to create a center lane so cars can turn left onto Nanakuli Avenue where there are a lot of schools. The state says that will help ease traffic, especially in the mornings when many drivers are dropping off their kids to school.
But residents say something should be done to make the new center line stand out more, such as adding reflectors.
“Right now the way the lines are marked and the way they don’t have reflectors, this is an accident, a deadly accident that’s waiting to happen and I don’t want to wait until then,” said Wittekind. “I don’t want it to be one of my family or one of my west-side families.”
A spokesman for the Department of Transportation says any additional work to fix the striping would mean lane closures for at least a couple of days. That means heavy traffic which already happened when the new center line was painted a few weeks ago.
Residents say they’d rather put up with the traffic than take additional risks on the road.
When KHON2 first started asking questions, the state said the contractor would start improving the striping in a couple of months.
But after hearing residents concerns and from us, they now say they’ll see if they can speed it up and do the work at night to help avoid gridlock.