Lunalilo project
to be decided

The plan closed the onramp on
weekdays to ease morning traffic

State Department of Transportation Director Rod Haraga will decide whether to make the ongoing Lunalilo Onramp Demonstration Project permanent after a community meeting in Makiki on March 16.

The meeting is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Stevenson Middle School cafeteria, 1202 Prospect St.

State transportation officials will discuss preliminary findings of the project, including data gathered by traffic engineers and survey responses from East Oahu and Makiki motorists.

About 5,000 surveys were handed out last month at key intersections in Hawaii Kai and Makiki.

The surveys that have been returned so far are favorable, said transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa. The engineers are still compiling the data, he said.

The project, which started Aug. 10, closes the freeway onramp from 6 to 9:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, forcing westbound motorists to enter the freeway at the Punchbowl Street onramp via Vineyard Boulevard. The closure was designed to improve westbound morning traffic flow on the H-1 freeway and reduce congestion in lower Makiki along Lunalilo, Pensacola and Piikoi streets.

The demonstration was supposed to last three months but was extended because the city was doing emergency sewer repair work on Kapiolani Boulevard at the same time. The work skewed the traffic flow data, Haraga said, because it shut down two lanes in either direction and suspended the morning contra-flow.

The November and December traffic flow was affected by holiday shopping and winter school vacations.

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