Zipperlane extension
brings tips for driving

State Transportation Director Rodney Haraga is urging motorists to drive with aloha, but not too much aloha, when they use the new stretch of the Zipperlane on Monday.

State of Hawaii "I've seen drivers stop to let cars into their lane. They should not do that. The drivers that are driving in the existing Zipperlane should maintain their speed," Haraga said, noting it could cause traffic backups.

But leave enough space between vehicles to allow cars entering the Zipperlane to merge safely, he said.

And he is urging motorists using the new entrance to the Zipperlane at Radford Drive to merge into the traffic flow smoothly.

"You do not have to merge immediately. You have a half-mile to make that decision," Haraga said.

And don't forget to signal before you merge.

The new entrance and other changes are part of a Zipperlane extension that opens Monday.

Other changes include closing the entrance to the Nimitz Highway contra-flow lane near Sand Island and reducing the minimum number of vehicle occupants required for using the Zipperlane to two from three.


Transportation officials are most concerned about how motorists will adjust to the new entrance, and will be monitoring traffic there from the Radford overpass.

They will open a portion of the Zipperlane Sunday morning to let journalists experience merging from the new entrance. The Zipperlane will be closed to all other traffic.

The extension bridges a 3-mile gap between the end of the existing Zipperlane and the start of the Nimitz Highway contra-flow lane creating a continuous 15-mile dedicated high-occupancy vehicle lane from the H-1/H-2 freeway interchange to Hilo Hattie in Iwilei.

Drivers in the Zipperlane will still be able to exit at the airport offramp. After that, the only other exit will be at the end of the Nimitz contra-flow lane in Iwilei.

Monday's opening occurs one week before University of Hawaii and the majority of public school students return to classes.

Transportation officials hope the week will give motorists enough time to get accustomed to the new entrance and other changes.

State Highways Division

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