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Tuesday, February 8, 2000

H-1 upgrade to
take 18 months
to two years

An official says the state is
working to shrink the project's
impact on island residents

By Harold Morse


Shut the windows to keep out noise and dust, turn on the air conditioning and get set for a siege -- of probably 18 months to two years.

Look for a nighttime shutdown of a large stretch of the H-1 freeway, as reconstruction and resurfacing will go on right through the heart of Honolulu on H-1 freeway and all eastbound ramps from Punchbowl Street to Kapiolani Interchange.

But there will be no jackhammers. A better way has been found to break up asphalt to make way for resurfacing, said Kazu Hayashida, director of the state Department of Transportation.

He made his remarks to about 100 people at a briefing on H-1 last night at Kaahumanu School, sponsored by state Sen. Carol Fukunaga and Rep. Brian Schatz.

New water lines will go in at some places, and the Punahou Pump Station will be updated and modified. H-1 lights will be updated and aluminum poles will go in.

There will also be major work done on another major road: Kalanianaole Highway will be resurfaced from Aina Koa to Aina Haina. An eight-inch water line will go in there, and plans are afoot to put in a 15-inch main and bike lanes.

Lunalilo, Vineyard and Makiki offramps will have restraining units installed to comply with a new seismic law. This seismic retrofitting is to help structures withstand earthquakes.

Waialae Avenue landscaping will go in under the viaduct near Kahala Mall.

Some work likely will start this summer, but few starting dates are firm. "All dates are subject to change," said Martin Okabe, Oahu district engineer of the state Highways Division.

Add in water line work on Lunalilo Street, along with resurfacing there and on Ward Avenue, and one might want to avoid those routes during work times.

As far as noise goes, it's hoped the loudest work will end at midnight and that only quiet work will go on from then until 4 a.m.

Legislation is in the works to allow nighttime contract work when traffic is light.

The state plans a hot line for residents to call.

"We're working very closely with contractors to make sure the impact to you is minimized," Hayashida said.

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