DOT to open extra lane on Farrington Highway in Nanakuli
Come Tuesday, thousands of drivers that commute in and out of the Leeward Coast can expect a smoother drive through Nanakuli.
Come Tuesday, thousands of drivers that commute in and out of the Leeward Coast can expect a smoother drive through Nanakuli. The State Department of Transportation is scheduled to open an additional lane on Farrington Highway.
Gridlock traffic in and out of West O'ahu is typical in the morning and then again in the afternoons.
Nanakuli resident Demonte Conner is one of many here that gets caught up in the rush. He says the extra lane cant come soon enough.
"This is the west side and there's only one way in and one way out. We're grateful for this new lane getting ready to open up. We really need it to be done," said Conner.
The lane is aimed at helping ease east and west bound traffic.
Right now, drivers headed townbound only have access to one lane in the afternoons which has led to major backups. The added lane will now give townbound drivers access to two lanes. It also gives drivers trying to turn off of Farrington a way out.
"All those people that are looking to turn left on Haleakala and Nanakuli Avenues will have a dedicated area to stay. So it's important because all those people going straight behind them will be able to continue going straight without having to wait for that car turning left to find an opening and go," DOT spokesman Tim Sakahara explained.
That's welcome news for April Longoria who's used to dealing with big backlogs on her way home to Aiea.
"If anybody is trying to turn left or right, if they're waiting for that opportunity to turn you're going to get stuck there waiting for them to turn. And if you're a few cars behind you're waiting a while," Longoria said.
DOT says the addition will cut the afternoon drive out of Nanakuli for many from an hour down to 15 minutes.
The $16 million project took DOT crews about three years to complete- after the department ran into a number of delays, part of it having to do with existing utility work underground.
Senator Maile Shimabukuro who helped rustle up funding for the project says her district deserves this much needed addition. She plans to rally behind even more traffic improvement projects this legislative session.
"We do hear the community, a lot of people say, 'It's great you're improving Farrington, thank you very much but we also need an alternate route,'" Rep Shimabukuro said.
DOT says the new lane will also allow DOT to keep the westbound contraflow going in the afternoons. But to complete the new lane by Tuesday Dot's cancelling the westbound contraflow Thursday and Friday.