• Sunday, September 23, 2018
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Top News| Traffic

All roadways open after crash on Middle Street overpass snarls traffic

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Honolulu police and the state Freeway Service Patrol closed the eastbound H-1 Freeway after a collision against the guardrail on the Middle Street overpass left large pieces of concrete and steel debris on the roadway below this afternoon.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Workers clean up large pieces of concrete and steel debris on the roadway after Honolulu police and the state Freeway Service Patrol closed the eastbound H-1 Freeway following a collision this afternoon.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Workers clean up large pieces of concrete and steel debris on the roadway after Honolulu police and the state Freeway Service Patrol closed the eastbound H-1 Freeway following a collision this afternoon.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The Middle Street overpass left large pieces of concrete and steel debris on the roadway below this afternoon. Honolulu police and the state Freeway Service Patrol closed the eastbound H-1 Freeway after a collision against the guardrail.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The Middle Street overpass left large pieces of concrete and steel debris on the roadway below this afternoon. Honolulu police and the state Freeway Service Patrol closed the eastbound H-1 Freeway after a collision against the guardrail.

  • JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The Middle Street overpass left large pieces of concrete and steel debris on the roadway below this afternoon. Honolulu police and the state Freeway Service Patrol closed the eastbound H-1 Freeway after a collision against the guardrail.

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UPDATE 8:25 p.m.

Police say all roadways are now open on the H-1 and Moanalua freeways, and the area surrounding the Middle Street overpass.

On Twitter, the state Department of Transportation said crews have placed barriers on the H-1 freeway Airport Viaduct westbound offramp. Drivers should take caution that lanes narrow and the speed limit has been reduced to 20 mph from 35 mph.

UPDATE: 5:40 p.m.

State Department of Transportation officials said in a tweet: “All lanes of the Moanalua Fwy eastbound are open! The Airport Viaduct westbound offramp is still closed until the barriers are in place. “

UPDATE: 4:40 p.m.

Traffic throughout Honolulu continues to be extremely congested as the pau-hana commute ahead of the Good Friday state holiday is in full swing.

Nimitz Highway and Ala Moana Boulevard, westbound, are backed up all the way to Waikiki as commuters avoid H-1 and Moanalua freeways. H-1 westbound is backed up until the Pali Highway, while H-3 Freeway, Kaneohe-bound, and many surface roads are also at a standstill.

The Moanalua Freeway eastbound closure before Middle Street is expected to continue past 6 p.m.

UPDATE: 3:55 p.m.

State Department of Transportation officials said eastbound lanes of the H-201 Moanalua Freeway at Middle Street will remain closed for another approximately three hours. All Moanalua Freeway westbound lanes are open, but both westbound lanes heading into the airport on-ramp from the H-1 Freeway are closed.

“Earlier this afternoon a truck carrying crane counterweights lost its load,” officials said. “The load hit the barrier of the H-1 overpass over the H-201, causing debris to fall on the H-201 Moanalua Freeway in both directions. HDOT estimates the lanes of the H-201 will reopen later this evening in approximately three hours as debris is cleared from the roadway and the overpass structure. Motorists are advised to take the Airport Viaduct or to get off before the King Street exit heading eastbound.”

Once debris is cleared, one lane of the airport on-ramp from the H-1 freeway west bound will also be reopened, but the right lane will remain closed until repair to the barrier can be completed. Crews will place water filled barriers at the location.

The overpass structure has been inspected and determined to be safe for use.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

A truck hit a barrier at the Middle Street overpass this afternoon, sending large debris to the roadway and closing lanes in both directions of the H-1 Freeway and the Moanalua Freeway eastbound.

State Department of Transportation officials tweeted that a truck load hit the barrier on the H-1 westbound overpass, and the westbound offramp to the airport is closed, as is the Moanalua Freeway eastbound

“We’re working to reopen left lane on the off ramp, but right lane will remain closed until repair to the barrier can be done,” they said.

City officials said Moanalua Freeway eastbound is shut and the freeway is closed at Middle Street off-ramp. “If you must get in to town take the airport viaduct via Nimitz Highway,” they said.

Traffic on surrounding surface roads was heavily congested in the aftermath of the accident at about 1:40 p.m.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell, in a video posted on Facebook, explained that the truck hit the concrete barrier at the overpass sending concrete and metal onto the road way and onto several cars that needed to be towed. The eastbound Moanalua Freeway was expected to stay close until after 4 p.m.

Caldwell recommended motorists coming into town get off at the airport viaduct and come into town on Nimitz Highway, which is backed up, with extra police officers controlling traffic.

“Celebrate an early Easter,” said Caldwell, “go to Zippy’s or something, have some chili, go to a movie, relax, work hard at your office so you can enjoy the next three days and go home later once traffic has been minimized.”

Photos on social media showed heavy debris on the road and a crane being used to put the debris on a flatbed trailer.

DOT officials said inspectors are on the way to check the overpass structure.

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