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Wednesday, July 23, 2014         

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Traffic snarled by 'Five-0' work

The state apologizes for delays caused by miscommunication with the production team

By Gene Park

POSTED:


The offense: a "Hawaii Five-0" filming that lasted for seven hours longer than what the state allowed, which caused an unannounced East Honolulu rush-hour traffic jam on Friday.

The alleged perp: a typo on the permit application to film at Kalanianaole Highway and East Hind Drive.

NIMITZ HIGHWAY LANE CLOSURES

» The right and left eastbound lanes of Nimitz Highway will be closed between Valkenburgh and Elliott streets from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow and Thursday. Only the center lane will be open for use.
» Production for "Battleship" will occur below the viaduct.
» Eastbound H-1 freeway drivers are advised to bypass the Nimitz Highway offramp (Exit 15) and use the following airport offramp (Exit 16). The far left or right ramp lanes will access Aolele Street.
» Moanalua Shopping Center drivers are advised to turn left onto Valkenburgh Street and turn right onto Radford Drive, Salt Lake Boulevard, Arizona Road and Camp Catlin Road.
Production officials wanted to shoot from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., or 2200 in military time as it is filled out on the application. That request, state officials said, would have been denied.

Instead, the application was typed to ask for a 1000 to 1200 slot, or until noon Friday, said Georja Skinner, administrator for the state Creative Industries Division, which oversees the Hawaii Film Office.

The victims: commuters like working mother Lori Davis, who was late in picking up two of her children after work and almost had to pay late fees for extended after-school care.

"Normally it takes me about 20 minutes to get to Waialae Elementary," said Davis, who works at Hawaii Medical Service Association on Keeaumoku Street. "I didn't get there until 5:45."

Skinner said the state is "so apologetic" to commuters who were inconvenienced by the miscommunication.

"We are ensuring going forward that the production team sends us their call sheets, all of which is supposed to be with the permit," Skinner said.

A "Five-0" publicist did not return a call for comment.

The state Highways Division under the Department of Transportation does not permit filming on state highways any time before 8 a.m. or after 3 p.m. Skinner said the state would have denied the 10 p.m. finish time for "Five-0" had the typo not occurred.

"Once DOT highways and our office was made aware of the situation, we immediately moved to mitigate it," Skinner said. "Unfortunately, a lot of people were impacted prior to that."

Film crews were off the road by 7 p.m., said state transportation spokeswoman Tammy Mori.

Mori said the state allowed crews to film from 10 a.m. to noon because there was a sewer line improvement project at the same time that already closed the right eastbound lane.

"Our folks are meeting with their film crew to make sure this doesn't happen again. Otherwise, they won't be getting permits anymore from DOT," Mori said.

Friday's incident was the latest in a string of entertainment-related road closures throughout Oahu. Last month, filming for the big-budget Hollywood flick "Battleship" shut down all Kaneohe-bound lanes of the H-3 freeway on a Monday.

Mori said the state often tries to coincide filming with already planned road or lane closures, like the department tried to do with the sewer project and "Hawaii Five-0."

The "Battleship" film production will be closing down the right and left eastbound lanes on Nimitz Highway between Valkenburgh and Elliott streets tomorrow and Thursday from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. The production will involve aerial shots that will stall traffic in the area for about two minutes before 2 p.m., Mori said.

"We're definitely advising motorists to take alternate routes," Mori said. "The filming will be below the viaduct."

The city also has been allowing permits with various productions, albeit on a smaller scale, said Walea Constantinau, film commissioner for the Honolulu Film Office.

She said most of the permits that pass through her office seek reserved parking meter stalls for vehicles and equipment. A number of metered stalls at Ala Moana Beach Park yesterday were reserved for a "Hawaii Five-0" production today.

The city film office also tries to minimize impact on traffic, she said.

Davis, who lives in Waimanalo, said she recognizes Hollywood and its ilk as an economic boon for the state, and she does not mind road closures as long as they are announced ahead of time.

"I have absolutely nothing against that," Davis said. "If you can plan for it, then that's OK with me. But if you don't know, and your children are waiting for you, that's the unfortunate part."






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