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Monday commute flows until freeway closure at 9 a.m.

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 06:51 p.m. HST, Nov 14, 2011


The morning commute the day after the end of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit appeared to be like any other Monday rush hour. But  that changed just before 9 a.m. as the H-1 Freeway and other streets were closed for about 15 minutes as a motorcade traveled to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam this morning.

A live television picture on Hawaii News Now showed police closing the freeway in both directions at Ward Avenue at about 8:55 a.m. The freeway and overpasses reopened at about 9 :10 a.m.

The city says other closures may occur later in the day as more world leaders leave and as President Barak Obama travels. His motorcade was on the move at about 12:30 p.m., but it wasn't immediately clear if he would be going on the freeway.

The Secret Service closes the roadways when President Obama, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are traveling, though the exact timing and route of their motorcades is not made public.

The Chinese leader was scheduled to leave this morning.

President Barack Obama leaves on Tuesday.

Medvedev left Sunday.

Obama attended a fundraiser at Ko Olina's Aulani resort this morning, while first lady Michelle Obama will attend a job fair for military spouses and veterans at the Hickam Officers Club. The president spent the night at the J.W. Marriott Ihilani resort and didn't travel on the road this morning. 

The president finished golfing at about 6 p.m., and traffic was at a standstill and backed up on the H1 freeway as the motorcade shut down the late rush hour commute heading west. One car that managed to get onto the freeway and alongside the tail end of the motorcade was quickly chased down by police and stopped before the Pearl City cutoff.

The motorcade forged ahead on H1 to Farrington Highway and back to the Marriott Ihilani Resort, where it pulled in at 6:33 p.m.

John Cummings, a spokesman for the City Emergency Managements Department, said traffic was flowing "okay" before 8 a.m.

"We're almost through this," he said.

The security checkpoint on Ala Moana Boulevard at the Hawaii Prince hotel has been taken down and traffic is flowing, however the right lane remains closed.

Ala Moana Park, Magic Island, Kapiolani Park and Ala Wai Community Park are scheduled to remain closed to vehicles until tonight. Iolani Palace also remains closed today.

But contraflow lanes were restored this morning on Kapiolani Boulevard ,which was closed between Kaheka Street and Kalakaua Avenue around the Hawaii Convention Center last week for APEC meetings.

Diamond Head crater reopened to the public this morning and parking is allowed again at the Ala Wai Harbor.

Bus routes and garbage collection returned to normal operations, and the Waikiki Post Office reopened. 






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