Ramping up traffic relief in Kapolei

KHON - May 16, 2011

New H-1 freeway westbound ramps will help alleviate bottlenecks around some of the large shopping centers in Oahu’s second city. There's still a lot of work to be done before motorists see complete traffic relief.State transportation officials and Kapolei lawmakers say $18.7 million is well worth the price for improved traffic flow heading in and out of Oahu's second city. "It's going to save a tremendous amount of time,” said Sen. Mike Gabbard.Coming down Makakilo Drive, the new H-1 freeway on-ramp will get motorists heading west onto the freeway faster, and help reduce traffic through Kapolei. "All the people that live in Makakilo if they wanted to get down to go to the west side they had to go down through Kapolei Proper on Kamokila Boulevard and go all the way around,” said Gabbard.A new freeway off-ramp near the Wet 'N Wild water park is also aimed at improving traffic.Motorists won't have to take the Campbell Industrial exit which loops around onto Kalaeloa Boulevard and Farrington Highway where traffic can backup."This is a direct shot for the people from Makakilo to Kapolei Commons in to Costco,” said Rep. Sharon Har.Both of these projects are a part of the H-1 Kapolei Interchange Complex project which broke ground two years ago. The state did not pay for the ramps as most of the money came from the federal government.While the westbound on and off ramps are a blessing for some, crews will now be busy improving traffic for eastbound drivers. Before we get to that we have to close this Farrington bridge overpass to do the work on Wakea Street and so that's going to be an inconvenience for a lot of people,” said Dan Meisenzahl of the State Transportation Department.Drivers heading to town will have to go through Kapolei town to find the nearest on-ramp, but come August, the new H-1 on-ramp is expected to make it easier to get on to the freeway. "It's something that has to be done and believe me as soon as this is open I believe everybody who either works in this area of lives in this area is going to be really happy with all these new on ramps and off ramps,” said Meisenzahl.