More rail work planned for Aiea, drivers asked to avoid part of Kamehameha Hwy.

Local News

A heads up for drivers.

There will soon be even more rail construction on Kamehameha Highway in Aiea.

The work is so extensive that officials are asking drivers to avoid a big part of the area.

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) already closed lanes on the highway in Pearl City.

“It’s never been this bad where I don’t even want to go past Pearl City,” said driver Andrew Nguyen.

“Chances are good that you’re going to get stuck in traffic for an hour plus,” said driver Rich Weathers.

Traffic is expected get worse. This week, HART put out a public notice, warning drivers about more rail construction on Kamehameha Highway.

One lane in each direction in Aiea will soon be closed, 24 hours a day, along most of the stretch from Kaahumanu Street to Pearlridge.

With all the construction, HART is encouraging drivers to use the freeway if they’re heading in the Ewa direction.

But some businesses in that area don’t like the sound of that.

“Honestly I’m getting some mixed messages. At one side, I know that HART is doing things to try to help us out, on the other side when I read this, it’s kind of doing the opposite,” said Bryce Fujimoto with Shiro’s Saimin Haven.

Rail officials are encouraging people to drive on the freeway, take the Pearl City exit and take Moanalua Road to access the highway and drive in the eastbound direction as much as possible. Officials say it will help to ease the traffic headed in the Ewa direction on Kamehameha Highway.

The drivers KHON2 spoke with said taking alternate routes, like Moanalua Road, would not help.

“They’re getting more and more congested these days, yes. I’m finding out it’s just as bad to take Moanalua now depending on the time,” said driver Andrea Weathers.

“I try to avoid the back roads as much as possible because most times, it’s more backed up than the freeway,” said driver Amber Kuamoo.

Businesses are pleading with customers.

“Everywhere along the line is really hurting right now so we’re still asking everybody to stick it out and try to go down Kamehameha Highway,” Fujimoto said.

During the upcoming closures, two lanes of traffic in each direction of Kamehameha Highway will remain open during peak travel hours.

HART is still figuring out exactly when to close more lanes.

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