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Kamehameha Highway to be closed for two hours for utility pole repairs


    The state Department of Transportation tweeted a photo of the repairs to utility poles knocked down by a truck Tuesday morning.

The Department of Transportation will close Kamehameha Highway again near Waimea tonight to allow Hawaiian Telcom crews to complete repairs after a truck crashed into three utility poles Tuesday.

Both lanes of the highway will be open until 8 p.m. when one lane will be closed and traffic contra-flowed until 11 p.m., DOT said. The highway will be closed from 11 p.m. today to 1 a.m. Thursday, Honolulu police said. Then the highway will be contra-flowed until 3 a.m., DOT said.

Shelly Kunishige, Transportation Department spokeswoman, said Hawaiian Tel was working in the area during the day, but needed to close lanes to finish repairs.

The damage was caused by a truck that damaged three utility poles on Kamehameha Highway near Waimea Bay on Tuesday.

The crash closed Kamehameha in both directions at about 8:30 a.m. and knocked out power to some 260 residents, said Darren Pai, Hawaiian Electric Co. spokesman.

HECO rerouted customers to a backup generator and restored power in about an hour. But repairs to the poles were initially delayed so a fuel spill from the crash could to be cleaned up. Then crews digging holes to replace two poles found the ground to be solid rock, creating additional slowdowns, Pai said.

Kamehameha Highway was closed for most of the day Tuesday while crews worked in the area. Police opened part of the road for about for a few hours Tuesday night.

HECO crews finished repairs and were off the road by 5 a.m. today, Pai said.

He said crews worked as quickly as they could to reopen the roadway.

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