Happened To...

An update on past news

Queen’s awaits approval
to construct turn lane

Question: What ever happened to the plan to provide access to the Queen's Medical Center and the Physicians Office Building by constructing a new right-turn lane from the Kinau Street offramp of the H-1 freeway to Lusitana Street and to build a new connection to the H-1 from Lusitana Street to the Vineyard onramp?

Answer: The Queen's Medical Center hopes to get final approval to build the new right-turn lane off the Kinau Street offramp and the connection from Lusitana Street to the Vineyard Boulevard onramp to the H-1 freeway by the end of the year.

Construction could begin sometime next year and would be completed in about a year, said James Kumagai, vice president of facilities planning and management for Queen's.

Queen's has set aside $2.5 million to pay for the construction of the new freeway connections.

The project is part of the traffic improvements the medical center promised to make in exchange for permission to build its new parking structure and emergency room entrance.

The project has been in the design stage, and Queen's is in the process of getting final approvals from the federal, state and city governments, Kumagai said.

"In the broad sense, we're going to the nitty-gritty details now," he said.

Engineering Concepts Inc., hired by Queen's, is also working on schedules to minimize traffic disruptions during construction.

Initial estimates suggest the project can be built for $2.5 million or less, but Kumagai said the final cost won't be known until the project goes out to bid.

"The bidding climate is changing and getting kind of spooky," he said. "We hope that it will be within the budget."

This update was written by Craig Gima.

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