CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
This stretch of freeway near the Newtown golf driving range is part of the area where construction will shut down the H-1 freeway a couple of nights in mid-January.
H-1 to close for 2 nights
Traffic will be diverted to pour concrete for a wider viaduct in Aiea
State transportation officials plan to shut down the H-1 freeway from Halawa to Waimalu for a couple of nights next month to complete concrete work for the viaduct widening project.
State Transportation Director Rod Haraga said the closure before the Aiea offramp of the Moanalua Freeway to the Pearl City onramp on the H-1 will take place in mid-January. Exact dates of the closure have not been determined, but work hours will be from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., Haraga said.
Ewa-bound motorists will be diverted to Moanalua Road and Kamehameha Highway. Vehicles can head back to the H-1 freeway at the Waiau Interchange. Town-bound motorists can return to the H-1 freeway after Aiea.
Contractors from Kiewit Pacific Co. will pour concrete to fill a 5-foot-wide gap between the new and old sections of the freeway along 1,245 feet of the Waimalu viaduct. The gap is 9 inches deep.
The new section is the sixth lane to be added to the Ewa-bound lanes of the H-1 freeway up to the Pearl City off-ramp.
Contractors hope to complete the work in one night, although they have up to four nights, Haraga said.
He noted the closure is necessary so the concrete can set properly, without the vibrations caused by thousands of passing motorists.
"We want to make sure the concrete surrounds the reinforcing bars," Haraga said. Contractors will use an accelerant with the concrete to speed up the process.
The sixth lane between Kaonohi Street and the Pearl City offramp is being added to alleviate traffic congestion for Ewa-bound motorists. A 12-foot-wide shoulder will also be added along that stretch. The additional lane is expected to open to motorists in April.
The project, estimated to cost $55 million, began in June 2004. It is meant to eliminate bottlenecks before the Waimalu viaduct, where the H-3 freeway and Moanalua Freeway merge onto the H-1 freeway.
Traffic congestion on the Ewa-bound lanes of the H-1 freeway has worsened as residential developments continue to grow in Leeward and Central Oahu. Haraga said an estimated 229,000 vehicles use the designated stretch of roadway daily.
State transportation officials predicted the number of vehicles using that stretch would jump to 284,000 vehicles by 2022.
CLOSING H-1 FREEWAY
Both directions of the H-1 freeway in Waimalu will be closed next month for concrete work for the viaduct widening project.
A couple of days in mid-January between 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. The dates have yet to be determined.
Contractors of Kiewit Pacific Co. will pour concrete to fill a 5-foot-wide gap along 1,264 feet between the new sixth lane and old section of the H-1 freeway.
The freeway will be closed before the Aiea offramp to the Pearl City onramp. Motorists will be detoured to Moanalua Road or Kamehameha Highway.
A sixth additional lane up to the Pearl City onramp is expected to eliminate bottlenecking on the H-1 freeway before the Waimalu viaduct.
The additional lane is scheduled to open to motorists in April.