Traffic gridlock on Oahu started at 8:35 a.m. Sunday.
All westbound lanes of the H-1 freeway turned into a parking lot for 70 minutes as world leaders made their way from Waikiki and Kahala to Koolina.
Police shut down the off-ramp to the Ihilani Resort at Koolina and turned away unauthorized vehicles in anticipation of the arrival of world leaders for a final APEC gathering.
Police helicopters flew overhead as National Guard Units and the Honolulu Police Department?s Civil Affairs officers in aloha wear stood watch.
A secret service and police staging area buzzed with activity. Most residents stayed away off the roadways, but some came out to see the action.
"We came out because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see all the world leaders in the same place,? said Kapolei resident Gene Kaniaupio.
John Nolan was at least 90 minutes late for an appointment.
"We called them and they said that's fine, you've been 'APECed' so take your time and we'll take care of you when you we get there."
On the freeway, traffic backed up all the way to the University off-ramp.
Drivers turned off their engines, got out of their cars and stretched their legs. Others simply walked off the freeway.
It didn't take long for drivers to take matters into their own hands.
At Punahou Street drivers reversed off the freeway, back up the on-ramp.
"Turned my truck around and it looks like everybody's turning around. The freeway's jam packed,? said a driver named Nalo.
"We just saw people backing up out of the freeway, so we're like... Okay, we should just back up and try to head out this way,? said Priscilla Nichols.
?We're trying to get to church. We knew about the closures. We just didn't know what time it was going to start. So we figured we'd get out a little bit early and try to beat this,? said Alexis Pangilinan.
President Obama's motorcade and a string of others made their way safely to Koolina.
The freeway reopened at 9:45 a.m.