New Kahekili streetlights are delayed
: It's almost six months since the new street lights were installed on Kahekili Highway from Haiku Road to Hui Iwa Street. When will they be operational? Once the lights are operational, how long before the old light poles are removed? There are fence poles along Kahekili Highway just below the Temple Valley Shopping Center. When will the fence be installed?
Answer: Two "unmapped" sewer lines have delayed the state Department of Transportation's plan to shed new light along Kahekili Highway.
"During the planned installation of new Kahekili Highway lighting from Hui Iwa West to Ahuimanu Drive last year, we ran across two unmapped sewer lines that would have interfered with the lighting's new electrical system," said transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa.
The original plan was to put in metal poles, which would have been in slightly different locations from the existing wooden poles, he said.
Because relocating the sewer lines would be costly, it was decided to install new wooden poles and upgraded lighting fixtures where the existing poles now stand, then connect them with the existing underground electrical wiring, Ishikawa said.
The targeted completion date for the $2.6 million project now is the end of May.
Meanwhile, a chain-link fence, which is part of the lighting project, can't be installed until the old light poles are removed. Once the new lighting is installed, the old poles will be removed and the fence completed, Ishikawa said.
Q: I'm curious about the HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lane on the H-1 freeway, heading east (from Pearl City going toward town). This is the lane adjacent to the Zipper Lane. Is this still an HOV lane, requiring two or more people in a car? If it is, do the police "police" the lane for violations? If there is no policing, are there plans to open up the lane to all drivers? I see a lot of singles driving in this lane during morning rush hour.
A: This HOV lane -- also known as the Diamond Lane -- is reserved for vehicles with two or more passengers and motorcycles during the morning and afternoon rush hours. That's between 5:30 and 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 and 6 p.m., excluding weekends and holidays, said Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa.
The Zipper Lane is also an HOV lane, but it functions as a special express lane for Honolulu-bound commuters during the mornings only.
"With only two entrances, one just before the H-1/H-2 merge near Pearl City and the other just past Radford Drive, the Zipper Lane offers commuters an express route separate from the rest of town-bound traffic," Ishikawa explained.
The Zipper Lane also connects directly with the morning Nimitz contraflow lane going into downtown Honolulu.
Ishikawa said police routinely monitor the HOV lanes for violators both morning and afternoon. While there may be scofflaws sneaking in, there are no plans to open the lanes to single-occupant vehicles.
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