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Pali Highway to remain open through Thanksgiving weekend

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                The Pali Highway will be open through the Thanksgiving weekend with both directions open from Wednesday through Monday.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The Pali Highway will be open through the Thanksgiving weekend with both directions open from Wednesday through Monday.

The Pali Highway will be open through the Thanksgiving weekend, according to state transportation officials, with both directions open from Wednesday through Monday.

On Monday, nightly closures of the Honolulu-bound lanes will once again resume, starting at 8 p.m., and reopen at 5 a.m. the next day, but only take place Monday through Friday. One lane in the Kailua-bound direction will also be closed nightly during those hours, but one lane will remain open 24/7.

The highway in December will remain open Sunday nights.

The state Department of Transportation said the nightly closures are still necessary to complete a previously announced street lighting project and resurfacing project, which is expected to be “substantially completed” in late December, weather permitting, said spokesman Tim Sakahara.

By late December, Sakahara said the department was aiming to have at least one lane open in both directions 24/7.

Some single-lane closures may still be scheduled as needed both during the day and night, but the state aims to offer at least one open lane in both directions at all times.

Pali Highway has been undergoing emergency repairs since mid-February, when a mudslide and rockfall damaged roadways near the tunnels in both directions. For months, the town-bound side had remained closed while the other side was contraflowed during limited morning hours.

State officials added a “rock shed,” a concrete structure that extends about 80 feet from the entrance of the second tunnel heading town-bound to shield rockfalls from the slopes of the Koolau above, along with new fencing, erosion mats and other stabilization systems.

The full reopening of the highway has been pushed several times from originally anticipated dates in August to November, and then to December.

Access hours to Pali Highway have increased incrementally, and for the month of November, had increased to 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily on weekdays, and from 5 a.m. Saturday through 8 p.m. Sunday. For months, the highway was closed Saturdays.

Starting Dec. 1, the Pali Highway’s access hours will be as follows:

>> Closed 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly Monday to Friday: Honolulu-bound lanes and one Kailua-bound lane.

>> Open 5 a.m. Saturday through 8 p.m. Monday: Both directions. The highway will be open 24 hours Sunday.

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