Study to explore onramp-offramp split
What ever happened to a proposal to permanently separate the Vineyard Boulevard offramp and Lunalilo Street onramp?
Answer: Makiki residents have been pushing for a permanent separation of the offramp and onramp where cars entering the H-1 freeway at Lunalilo Street merge with cars exiting the freeway to Vineyard Boulevard.
Those concerns escalated three years ago when the state began a project that separates the off- and onramps during the morning commute. White poles keep drivers on Lunalilo Street from getting onto the freeway between 6 and 9:30 a.m.
Lunalilo drivers must instead continue on to Vineyard and get onto the freeway by making a right on Punchbowl Street.
Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa said the state is commissioning a study to determine what can be done and how much it would cost to separate the onramp and offramp and possibly create a new way for Makiki drivers to get on the freeway from Lunalilo Street.
A rough estimate of the cost to design and build a flyover to separate the Lunalilo Street traffic from cars existing the freeway or to build a new onramp or offramp is about $26 million.
In 2005 the cost of putting up the white poles every weekday morning was $125,000 a year.
John Steelquist, chairman of the Makiki/Lower Punchbowl/Tantalus Neighborhood Board, said residents want to know if there is a better way to manage traffic. He asked, "Is this something that would make sense and is economically feasible?"
Traffic around the Lunalilo Street onramp backs up regularly even beyond the morning commute hours, he said. "We're happy that there's some thought about getting to a better solution," he said.
This update was written by Craig Gima.
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