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H-1 reopens, but more closures expected tonight and Monday

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    President Obama's motorcade proceeds west on H1 past the Waikele Shopping Center on his way to Ko'Olina
    Traffic near the Punahou overpass was stopped along the H1 Sunday morning.
    Bystanders watch as the Presidential motorcade passes the Waikele shopping center.
    A Hawaii National Guard soldier blocks the freeway underpass at Lehua Avenue in Pearl City.

Police closed the entire H-1 Freeway in the Koko Head direction and other roads from Ko Olina to Waikiki for about 20-minutes at about 4:45 p.m. as world leaders in their motorcades made their way back to Waikiki from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders summit meeting at the Marriott hotel in Ko Olina.


More freeway and road closures are expected tonight and Monday morning as other leaders make their way back to Waikiki or travel to the airport to leave town.

The city is asking motorists to be patients and to plan for delays as the dignitaries travel on Honolulu roads.

The closures also involve freeway overpasses, underpasses, onramps and other surface streets leading to and from the freeway into Waikiki.

Traffic backed up along the H-1 Freeway corridor between Ko Olina and East Oahu this morning as police closed the freeway for more than an hour as motorcades carrying world leaders traveled to the summit meeting at the Marriott hotel in Ko Olina.

Police and the Secret Service closed westbound lanes of the freeway from about 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. as the leaders traveled from their hotels in Waikiki and Kahala to the Marriott in Ko Olina, said John M. Cummings III, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Emergency Management.

The shutdown rippled out to areas well beyond H-1 as feeder roads to the freeway were also closed.

Officials say they don’t expect "hard closures" like this morning for the rest of the evening.

Some of the leaders, including President Barack Obama, have press conferences and other meetings scheduled until later in the afternoon.

The Secret Service closes the roadways when Obama, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are traveling. But it’s not clear if they will shut down the freeway for other leaders.

The closures will also occur as leaders return to the airport Monday morning sometime between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. President Obama also has a fundraiser scheduled Monday morning at Ko Olina at 9 a.m.


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is expected to leave sometime today, while China’s Hu Jintao is scheduled to leave Monday and President Obama on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, barriers are being taken down and should be removed by early Monday morning on Ala Moana Boulevard, Saratoga Road, Kalakaua Avenue, Lewers Street and Kalia Road.


However, several check points along Ala Moana between Holomoana and Kahanamoku Streets and Hobron Lane will remain until Sunday evening when delegations leave Waikiki.


When those security check points are removed, all bus routes will return to normal, according to the city Department of Transportation Services.

"We’re expecting all to be normal Monday morning in this area," said U.S. Secret Service spokesman Max Milien. "We want to create that flow. We want to give Waikiki back to its residents."


Security checkpoints are up today until sometime tonight around the Marriott hotel in Ko Olina, where the leaders are meeting. Access to the security zone around the hotel is restricted to residents, owners and employees of local businesses. Government identification, such as a drivers license or passport, is required for motorists and pedestrians to get access to the area.


Traffic is also restricted on the Waianae Ko Olina Exit ramp from Farrington Highway. APEC security has also resulted in the closure of the Waimanalo Gulch landfill and city convenience centers today.


All refuse facilities return to their normal hours Monday, said Markus Owens, spokesman for the city’s Department of Environmental Services. Bulky item pickup was postponed on Saturday in Waikiki, and will be picked up Tuesday.


State Department of Transportation spokesman Dan Meisenzahl said airport traffic has been slow during APEC — the slowest in the past six weeks — and shouldn’t affect travel over the next few days as foreign delegations leave the islands.


"None of (the major delegations) go through the main terminal so none of them will have an impact on you unless you get caught in a motorcade," he said. "I imagine by Tuesday everything will be back to normal."


Parking restrictions on Olani Street, Aliinui Drive, Koio Drive and Kamoana Place are in effect and bus service is still being rerouted in the area.


Parts of Kalakaua Avenue reopened to traffic at about midnight last night as city crews removed concrete barriers in place around the Hale Koa hotel security zone.

Security restrictions also remain in effect for the area around the Hawai’i Convention Center, but Kapiolani Boulevard and Atkinson Drive are open to traffic, except for the barriers immediately around the building.

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