State working to safeguard East Oahu off-ramp prone to backlog

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For years, drivers heading east on the H-1 at rush hour have had to contend with a long wait to get off the highway and onto Waialae Avenue. But it’s not just the wait that’s the problem.

As it stands now many drivers use the shoulder lane as an exit lane, and soon this confusing and unsafe practice will come to an end.

The Waialae Avenue exit heading to Kahala has a long backup almost every weekday.

According to state senator Stanley Chang, the exit lane will soon be extended.

Chang says the state Department of Transportation is looking into re-striping the shoulder lane of the freeway to create a dedicated exit lane.

“This is been an issue for years. I think probably the biggest issue is the obstruction of emergency vehicle access because when all the cars take up the shoulder. There’s nowhere for the emergency vehicle to go. Of course with all the cars been backed up if there’s anything that does happen, extra traffic can even further block lanes on the highway and cause a back up for a long time as we saw recently with the water main break.”

The state is looking into installing new guard rails on the makai side of the highway to bring the new dedicated exit lane up to code.

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