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More APEC leaders arriving; new Waikiki road closures start today

By Gregg K. Kakesako

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 08:29 p.m. HST, Nov 11, 2011


The arrival of more world leaders, including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and new security restrictions on Ala Moana Boulevard backed up traffic this morning.

More leaders arrived this evening, and increased security began at 5 a.m. in Waikiki, including restricting inbound Waikiki traffic and Ala Moana Boulevard to vehicles connected to APEC. Later, in-bound traffic from Kalakaua Avenue will be restricted.

Leaders from Canada and Japan arrived within 10 minutes of each other, with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's plane touching down first at 7:21 p.m.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's plane pulled up to the arrival area at Hickam just after Harper's motorcade cleared the area. Noda was greeted by Gladys Boluda, U.S. State Department deputy chief of protocol, along with Ichiro Fujisaki, Japanese Ambassador to the United States, and U.S. Army Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark M. McLeod.

President Barack Obama, who watched the North Carolina-Michigan State college basketball game aboard an aircraft carrier in San Diego before leaving for Hawaii, was scheduled to arrive later tonight.

The plane of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak touched down at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at 3:45 p.m.

Razak was greeted at the air field by a small delegation of Malaysian officials that included Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and Ambassador Jamaludin Jarjis, and their wives. U.S. State Department Deputy Chief of Protocol Gladys Boluda also greeted the prime minister.

His motorcade of about a dozen vehicles was on its way by 4 p.m.

The plane carrying Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived at 9:25 a.m. Police shut down freeway overpasses, the freeway and other roads into Waikiki as his motorcade left Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam at about 9:33 a.m. All roads and overpasses reopened by 9:51 a.m.

The city is asking motorists to plan ahead and be patient as the summit continues. Freeway closures may cause up to an hour's delay, Mayor Peter Carlisle said.

The new security restrictions on Ala Moana Boulevard also backed up traffic today and the city is asking motorists to avoid Ala Moana, if possible.

Julia Gillard, the prime minister of Australia, was the first to touch down at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-HIckam today, getting off her Royal Australian Air Force plane under cloudy skies at about 7:24 a.m. A Philippines Airlines plane carrying President Benigno Aquino III touched down at about 8:19 a.m. Chile's President Sebastian Pinera arrived at 8:35 a.m. Brunei's leader Sultan Sir Bolkiah Hassanal, whose motorcade left at 9:21 a.m.

At this morning's daily news conference, Honolulu Managing Director Doug Chin said Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are expected to arrive at about 10:45 p.m. tonight.

Police are closing roads and freeways when President Obama, Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao travel. Chin said there should be no major road closures outside of Waikiki on Saturday. However, the temporary road closures, especially on the H-1 Freeway -- will occur on Sunday as the delegates go to Ko Olina, where meetings will be held. He also said motorists should expect more temporary traffic delays on Monday and Tuesday as world leaders leave the islands.

Security restrictions remain in effect for the area around the Hawai'i Convention Center. But Kapiolani Boulevard and Atkinson Drive will be open to traffic, except for the barriers immediately around the convention center on Saturday.

City Transportation Service Director Wayne Yoshioka said starting at 5 a.m. today cars entering Waikiki using Ala Moana Boulevard are being stopped near the Hawaii Prince Hotel and searched.

Pedestrians will be asked to show some forms of identification and ?could also be searched.?

Yoshioka said all cars trying to enter Waikiki on Ala Moana Boulevard are being diverted to Holomoana Street near the Hawaii Prince Hotel and searched.

?He suggested that people needing to go to Waikiki this weekend enter the area using McCully Street or Kapahulu Avenue.?

The check point is part of the security zone around the Hale Koa, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Hawaii Prince, Modern Waikiki and Sheraton Waikiki hotels.?The Secret Service plan for the security zone calls for all Ala Moana Boulevard lanes in the Koko Head direction to be closed to all but APEC-related traffic starting at about 10 p.m.

One Ewa-bound lane will be contra-flowed to allow other traffic out of the area.?

Another checkpoint will be set up tonight on Kalakaua Avenue between Ala Moana Boulevard and Saratoga Road, which will restrict access to APEC traffic only.

Lanes will be open for the public from Ala Moana Boulevard to the? Kalakaua and Kuhio avenues split and traffic going into Waikiki will be diverted to Kuhio Avenue.?

East-bound lanes of Saratoga Avenue and all of Kalia Road between Ala Moana ?Boulevard and Saratoga Road will be for APEC traffic only.?

The public can access to Saratoga Road, Beachwalk Road and Kalia Road at Lewers Street between Helumoa Road and Kalia Road.? Lewers Street will run makai, against the normal traffic pattern, from Kuhio Avenue to Kalakaua Avenue.? Beachwalk Road traffic will run mauka only, also against the normal traffic pattern.? Security restrictions remain in effect for the area around the convention center.

But Kapiolani Boulevard and Atkinson Drive will be open to traffic, except for the barriers immediately around the convention center ?on Saturday.?

Yoshioka said city officials were asked to keep Kapiolani Boulevard between Kalakakua Avenue and Kaheka Street and Atkinson Boulevard closed for another day because of security concerns.

?New parking restrictions also begin in Waikiki today and bus service will be routed around the closures.?

The Ala Wai Boat Harbor and ocean waters off the Hilton and Fort DeRussy beach will also be closed starting tonight through Saturday night.?

The Waikiki Post Office will close tonight through Sunday. The post office is open today.

Garbage will be picked up at 4:30 a.m. Saturday instead of 6:30 a.m. and there will be no bulky item pickup in the security zone.

 

APEC Hale Koa Security ZoneAPEC security restrictions for Waikiki and Ko Olina






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