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Water on roads creates problems for Oahu commuters

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 10:36 a.m. HST, Mar 05, 2012

Honolulu police responded to numerous reports of water on the roads and highways as well as stalled vehicles and minor traffic accidents as a wet and potentially dangerous morning commute began.

The heaviest rains moved offshore at about 6 a.m., creating a bit of a lull, but more heavy rain was expected later in the morning.

There were numerous reports of road closures and lane closures on the freeway, but no major problems.

The Kapaa Quarry Road access from Mokapu Saddle Road was closed because of flooding. Tantalus Drive was also closed because of a downed tree and a landslide.

State Department of Transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said one lane of the H-1 Freeway in the Waianae direction near Middle Street was closed early this morning as crews pumped water off the roadway. An earlier report of ponding on the freeway at about 4:30 a.m. near Waimalu was been cleared, he said. Crews also cleared water off the freeway near School Street.

In Windward Oahu, city officials were watching areas near Waihee and Waiahole streams especially on Waiahaloe Valley Road, where possible flooding could occur.

They were also monitoring a drainage ditch in Nanakuli, near Pokai Bay and Alta Street because of the heavy water run-off.

The National Weather Service and Civil Defense officials warn that water on the roads creates hazardous driving conditions.

"When we have rain situations like this, be careful," said John Cummings, a spokesman for the city Emergency Management department. "We don't want to add to the problems the weather is already creating."

Meisenzahl said drivers should leave early, be patient and also be aware of pedestrians, especially if visibility is reduced because of rain.

"We want to make sure everyone gets to their destinations safely," he said.

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localguy wrote:
State Department of Transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl might want to explain to taxpayers why after years of these same road areas becoming inundated why NO corrective action has been taken? Seems HDOT has 'other priorities" than to provide safe roads to drivers. Many times HDOT engineers failed to plan for our heavy rains, inadequate drain sizes, failure to slope grounds away from the roads, failure to ensure water can drain from the roads. Why does HDOT continually fail to design and fix our roads to standards? It's what they do.
on March 5,2012 | 05:13AM
1local wrote:
DOT 'engineers' - that is a joke - maybe after they get their pension and return for 89 day installments they will figure it out...
on March 5,2012 | 06:16AM
olos73 wrote:
That's because the DOT would rather spend taxpayers money planting trees along Nimitz for APEC, putting up fences by the harbors, and put up $300,000 planters along the airport viaduct so tourists can see them when they arrive and depart the airport. Yep, no priorities! Once an area has a problem like ponding, etc., then, it should be a red flag that it is a problem, and will occur again. This is Hawaii. We get rain everytime. FIX IT right the first time, don't make band-aid repairs which doesn't correct the problem.
on March 5,2012 | 07:47AM
wayneki wrote:
Once during a moderate rainfall I hit a segment going up Likelike where a great deal of water was streaming across the road instead of draining to the side the way it is safely supposed to. Despite going at a safe speed, and having new tires, my car hydroplaned. Up ahead, I noticed another car that was completely turned around, obviously a victim of the same road hazard. When I called the State DOT Highways to report the hazard, the expert Highways Engineer said, "Cannot be, that's not supposed to happen. The highways are not designed like that."
on March 5,2012 | 12:49PM
donthigpen wrote:
I left my house in Kunia at 5 AM this morning for my commute to Pearl Harbor. So, I want to express my appreciation for all the drivers on H1 with me this morning for using "Common Sense".
on March 5,2012 | 05:40AM
hanoz808 wrote:
greatful that they opened the zip lane to all motorist too.
on March 5,2012 | 10:33AM
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