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Wednesday, April 23, 2014         

KOKUA LINE


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Ramps opening this month in new Kapolei Interchange

By June Watanabe

POSTED:



Question: Regarding the new Kapolei Interchange: It seems they haven’t worked on it for months, yet it’s almost finished. What is the holdup? What is the expected time they are going to start up again, and when will it be completed?

Answer: The $16.6 million first phase of the H-1 Freeway Kapolei Interchange Complex ramps project is targeted for completion in August.

But motorists will be able to use new ramps, which will be opened in two sections, later this month.

The westbound onramp from Makakilo Drive and the offramp to Farrington Highway, exiting near the Wet ’n’ Wild Hawaii water park, are expected to open in late May, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation said.

New eastbound ramps to and from the Wakea Street extension, along with the extension’s new connection to Farrington Highway, are expected to open in August.

Work is continuing, despite the seeming hiatus.

The majority of large-scale pavement construction is complete, the DOT spokesman said, but smaller-scale work continues with installations of underground electrical and utility conduits, signage, lighting, lane striping, curbing, etc.

The federal government is funding $15.6 million, or 94 percent, of the first phase, with Kapolei Property Development LLC paying for the remaining $1 million.

Future phases will involve building new on- and offramps that will provide multiple access points to and from the H-1.

Costs of phases two and three have yet to be determined.

Question: It seems like the Kapolei Freeway Interchange project has been going on forever. Once they’re finished, how are they going to alleviate the traffic from Campbell Industrial Park, Costco and Target going west on Farrington? The new traffic from Makakilo, which will be turning left to go to Costco, will double or triple the traffic and prohibit people getting out of Campbell.

Answer: A new traffic pattern should improve the flow of westbound traffic from Campbell Industrial Park and the Kapolei Commons area, according to a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

The plan is to install a new stop sign at the intersection of Farrington Highway and Kalaeloa Boulevard.

Currently, only traffic on Kalaeloa Boulevard has a stop sign. The planned stop sign will give Kalaeloa Boulevard traffic a 1-to-1 turn ratio to make the left turn toward Ko Olina, the spokesman said.

“The new Farrington Highway stop will make turn wait times more equal and help to slow down traffic exiting from the H-1,” he said. “A full installation of traffic signals is anticipated in future phases of the project.”

Construction of Phase I began on July 2, 2009.

MAHALO

To the City and County of Honolulu for the excellent addition to the native Hawaiian plant garden at Queen Kapiolani Garden in Kapahulu/Diamond Head. The expanded garden has a variety of common and rare native plants accompanied by comprehensive signage, and serves as an educational example of environmentally responsible landscaping. Native plants need less water and fewer pesticides, and can remind us of the unique Hawaiian ecosystem that came before us and that still thrives in parts of Hawaii today. The county has displayed an admirable commitment to sustainability by choosing native plants. I encourage Honolulu residents to visit the Queen Kapiolani Garden and hopefully become inspired to landscape with native plants at home. Maybe Mayor Carlisle will even consider native plant additions to Honolulu Hale!

— Lauren Goodmiller, Kapahulu/Diamond Head.

The garden is at Paki and Monsarrat avenues.

Write to “Kokua Line” at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.






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