No 'Exit Only' sign planned for sixth lane
The new sixth lane from the Kaonohi Street Overpass to the Pearl City offramp seems to be working OK. It seems people are still getting used to it, hence my question. Is there an overhead sign planned for the Kaonohi Street Overpass to indicate the sixth lane is an "Exit Only" lane?
Answer: No, because state transportation officials do not want drivers to start merging into the lane too early.
There is an "Exit Only" sign attached to the Kaahumanu Overpass over the new sixth lane shortly before the Pearl City offramp, in addition to signs saying "Mililani" and "Pearl City."
Above the second right-most lane, there also is a sign noting "Pearl City" because drivers have the option to use it to get off at Pearl City or to continue toward Ewa, transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa said.
As it is, just before the Kaonohi Street Overpass is a shoulder sign that says "Waimalu Pearl City Exit 1 Mile Ahead," and another one noting the upcoming exit just before the offramp, as well as three electronic signs along the freeway warning, "Traffic Pattern Change Ahead."
Putting a sign at the Kaonohi Overpass would "kind of defeat the whole purpose" of trying to ease bottlenecks, Ishikawa said. "We're trying to get drivers not to merge quickly" after the H-1, H-3 and Moanalua freeways merge. ... That was almost like the second bottleneck, (where) you go from six lanes back to five."
By extending the sixth lane, "We're not only giving Pearl City residents their own lane, we're also giving drivers a mile and a half to merge over to the other lane."
Q: Who is responsible for cutting the cane grass and koa bushes in the back of property on Ponohale Street, as well as the cane grass on Ponohale Street, where the state has just completed the Pearl City H-1 freeway extension?
A: Kiewit Pacific, contractor for the state Department of Transportation's freeway viaduct project.
After we asked about the overgrowth, the Transportation Department sent Kiewit Pacific a memo late last week to cut the grass in the area along the fence next to homes.
The department's original design plans do take into account maintenance of the areas acquired under the project, spokesman Scott Ishikawa said.
That includes spraying an herbicide on the state's vacant residential lots and putting in a weed barrier and layer of gravel to prevent weeds from growing and to minimize dust problems, he said.
Asphalt paving also is planned for nearly all areas under the H-1 viaduct.
However, because of the current asphalt shortage, the repaving schedule is dependent on the availability of asphalt.
Meanwhile, Ishikawa said the city owns the area in question, as well as strips of land between the state right of way and private property along Ponohale Street.
Since the viaduct project is completed, responsibility for maintaining the area will eventually go back to the city, he said.
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