Thursday, January 18, 2001
home page local news opinion business island life sports
AP National & International News
Traffic Hotspots
School Calendar
E-The People
Email Lawmakers
Classified Ads
Restaurant Guide
Business Directory

Posted on: Thursday, January 18, 2001

Kahekili Highway changes debated

By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward Bureau

KAHALUU — The state wants to widen Kahekili Highway in Temple Valley and add a dedicated right-turn lane to help eliminate traffic buildup in the North Shore-bound lanes during the afternoon rush hour.

The state wants to widen Kaheliki Highway at its intersection with East Hui Iwa Street and add a right-turn lane to ease traffic. Some residents, however, favor a roundabout for easier access to Ko'olau Center.

Jeff Widener • The Honolulu Advertiser

Residents and people who work in the area say the lane would ease the problem, but some board members would prefer to see a roundabout at the intersection, which offers access to Ko
olau Shopping Center.

"The lane will be helpful but it won’t alleviate the situation entirely," said Richard Vermeesch, a Kahaluu Neighborhood Board member who lives in Hokuloa Townhouse subdivision next to the shopping center. "It will still be worse than without the lights."

Brian Kimura, of the Department of Transportation’s Highway Traffic Division, told the Kahaluu board last week that the DOT will add a 12-foot-wide lane to the mauka side of Kahekili Highway with an additional 6-foot-wide paved shoulder in the area where the Kahekili intersects with East Hui Iwa Street. The estimated cost of the project is $720,000. Construction is tentatively scheduled for August 2002.

Vermeesch said the traffic backup became an issue after lights were installed at East Hui Iwa a couple of years ago. However, the intersection was dangerous and many people saw the signals as an answer to that problem, he said.

In the afternoon, traffic stacks up to Haik¬ Road and slowly moves toward Hui Iwa, where everything flows freely again, he said, despite another stoplight a block away.

He and other board members prefer a roundabout to address other traffic problems such as the back-up on Hui Iwa, he said. Another roundabout is already scheduled for installation at Kahekili and Kamehameha Highway late this year.

Kimura said the state doesn’t have enough land to build a traffic circle at the Temple Valley intersection and to do so would require taking land and realigning the road. However, he said he would investigate the possibility.

Kimura also pointed out that the improvement addresses only North Shore-bound afternoon traffic. It does not address morning southbound traffic, he said.

Cheryl Catobus, who works in the Temple Valley Dental Group, said leaving Koolau Shopping Center is difficult in the afternoon. "My big frustration is trying to get off Hui Iwa because the light is like five minutes long," Catobus said, adding that the extra lane won’t help her problem.

Scott Jones, who lives above the shopping center, said the lights have had good and bad results.

"The traffic is a pain," he said. "But (the lights) help because there’s no traffic accidents there anymore."

He said the extra lane will help.

[back to top]

Home | Local News | Opinion | Business | Island Life | Sports
Weather | Traffic Hotspots | Obituaries | School Calendar | Email Lawmakers
How to Subscribe | How to Advertise | Site Map | Terms of Service | Corrections

© COPYRIGHT 2001 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.