HNN 2/26/16: ‘State moves forward with contraflow plan to ease Waianae Coast commute’

Sen. Shimabukuro, Ed Sniffen (DOT Deputy Director), and Senate President Ronald Kouchi speaking to reporters about the Nanakuli contraflow project.

DeMont Conner and Richard Landford speaking to reporters about the Nanakuli contraflow project.

Lisa Kubota (Reporter)
Hawaii News Now
Feb 26, 2016 07:13 PM

NANAKULI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Rush hour relief is on the way for thousands of drivers along the Waianae Coast. The state is moving forward with a contraflow pilot project. An average of 50,000 vehicles travel through the area each day, according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation. The only access route is Farrington Highway.

“My daily commute is anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours and it depends cause if there’s accidents all along the way then it just adds exponentially,” said Nanakuli resident DeMont Conner.

One eastbound lane of Farrington Highway will switch to a westbound lane from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. between Piliokahi Avenue and Helelua Street. DOT officials hope to start the contraflow plan this summer.

“It’s something that the community has been begging for for decades now. We can’t thank the DOT enough for being open to this solution, a very common sense, efficient, and practical way to alleviate our traffic bottleneck,” said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro (D, Kalaeloa-Waianae-Makaha)

The price tag is $300,000 a year. The contraflow lane will stop once crews finish a separate project to widen the four-lane highway from Nanakuli Avenue to Haleakala Avenue to include a new lane for vehicles making left turns. The construction work is expected to wrap up in April 2017.

“Once the project is done, there is no need for a contraflow in this area anymore because the fifth lane is in. After that, we’ll start looking at if we should extend the contraflow out to other areas until the fifth lane project to Hakimo Road is done,” explained Ed Sniffen, Hawaii Department of Transportation Deputy Director, Highways Division.

State lawmakers are also looking at extending the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road. One possibility involves using a private road off Helelua Street.

Copyright 2016 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

HNN 2/26/16: Contraflow Lane for Wai’anae Coast

Clips from Lisa Kubota’s “Leeward Traffic Trouble,” Hawaii News Now 2/26/16.

Sen. Shimabukuro 022616

KITV4 2/26/16: ‘Traffic relief in Nanakuli in the works’

Excerpts from Roger Mari ‘s “Traffic relief in Nanakuli in the works,” KITV4 Island News, 2/26/16:

Traffic relief is on the way for drivers on the Waianae coast. State transportation officials announced plans to begin a contraflow lane on Farrington Highway.

State officials say an estimated 50,000 cars per day use Farrington Highway, up about 20,000 from the year 2000. More cars, same road.

“The increase in cars and the increase in population are occurring without development. It’s something that hasn’t been taken care of for a while, so we’re putting more resources into it to address it now,” said Ed Sniffen, HDOT Highways Division.

The Nanakuli contraflow project will create a third lane of travel for westbound drivers on Farrington Highway from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. The mile-long contraflow lane will begin at Piliokahi Avenue and continue past Helelua Street.

“It will change one of the eastbound lanes into a westbound lane during the p.m. peak condition,” said Sniffen.

In addition to the contraflow lane, an extension to the emergency access lane is under consideration. It would begin at the end of Helelua Street where the current emergency access road ends.

“We’re just here to explore this morning and to find out whether this is a viable way to extend the emergency access road,” said Sen. Maile Shimabukuro.

The hope is to connect it to Haleakala Avenue, which is the first street in the Nanakuli Homestead. For years, it had been proposed Conner hopes to gain support from the Hawaiian community on the leeward coast. Some are already on board.

For now, HDOT will concentrate primarily on the contraflow lane. They plan to discuss the project before the area neighborhood boards in March and April to get input from the community.

Read the full article on the KITV4 site.