Busy offramp’s closing draws complaints, will be repeated
Whose "brilliant idea" was it to close the offramp to Mililani Mauka on a Friday afternoon? On Friday, May 9, the H-2 northbound exit at Mililani Mauka was supposed to be closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. It was closed much earlier. The resulting traffic backup was horrible. What made matters worse were signs saying that a detour was set up, but it only had you go to Mililani town at the next exit, make a U-turn at the first traffic light, then head back to Mililani Mauka. No adjustments were made to the lights to handle the extra traffic, so cars backed up onto the offramp. Why couldn't they have closed the exit one lane at a time or closed it Friday night? Also, what work was done? It doesn't seem like they did anything. Any answer you can get for those of us who live in Mililani Mauka would be greatly appreciated. (Three complaints combined.)
Answer: Brace yourselves: The state Department of Transportation's "pavement reconstruction and resurfacing project" will result in the closure of Exit 5A again this weekend, this time from 7 a.m. tomorrow through 4 a.m. Monday.
The Transportation Department acknowledged that last weekend's closure "created some inconvenience to motorists."
However, in a statement given to "Kokua Line," officials said full closure of the offramp was necessary to allow complete reconstruction of the pavement in the one-lane section of the offramp.
They also said message boards displayed the correct information: closure beginning 10 a.m. (not p.m.) Friday through 4 a.m. Monday.
The 10 a.m. start last week was meant to allow people to use the offramp to go to Mililani Mauka Elementary for the 9 a.m. start of its May Day program.
To ease the expected traffic backups this weekend, additional police officers will be posted at various intersections to direct traffic.
Also, only the offramp will be closed this weekend, compared with two lanes last weekend.
The offramp is being reconstructed because water is seeping beneath the surface of the road.
Continued seepage would have led to the erosion of the road, which would have resulted in far greater damage and a much higher cost to repair in the long run, according to the Transportation Department.
The "proactive" work includes removing the ramp surface, compacting the soil foundation and resurfacing the pavement.
Meanwhile, the department suggests three alternative routes this weekend:
» Take the Mililani town offramp (Exit 5B) onto Meheula Parkway and make a U-turn at Kuahelani Avenue. A police officer will be posted at the U-turn location to help keep traffic flowing.
» Continue driving north past the Mililani interchange and take the Leilehua offramp; proceed back onto the H-2 freeway southbound and exit the Mililani offramp, taking a left toward Mililani Mauka.
» Take Kamehameha Highway and go to Mililani Mauka through Mililani town.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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