Pali Highway to open during morning and evening commute hours

Posted on Feb 20, 2019 in Highways News, Main, News

HONOLULU – The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) provides the following update on the status of Pali Highway between the tunnels following multiple landslides on Monday, Feb. 18, 2019 and the related fall of a portion of Old Pali Road late Tuesday, Feb. 19.

The portion of Old Pali Road damaged in the Monday rockfall has successfully been cut away and no longer poses a threat to the highway below. As such, HDOT will contraflow two lanes of Honolulu-bound traffic in the Kailua/Kaneohe bound direction of the Pali Highway. To enter the Honolulu-bound contraflow motorists will crossover to the opposite side of the highway at the intersection to Saint Stephen’s Diocesan Center and will reenter the Honolulu-bound side of the Highway at the Nuuanu Pali Drive intersection adjacent to the Nuuanu Reservoir. The morning Honolulu-bound contraflow will be in operation from 5 a.m. and 9 a.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. A map of the contraflow area is available here.

When the Honolulu-bound contraflow is in operations no Kailua/Kaneohe bound traffic will be permitted to travel through the area. HDOT crews will monitor during the contraflow and may stop traffic if the situation warrants.

The Kailua/Kaneohe bound lanes of Pali Highway will be open during the afternoon commute between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. beginning Thursday, Feb. 21. These afternoon hours will be in place on weekdays as well.

In the time between the Honolulu-bound contraflow and the afternoon Kailua/Kaneohe bound openings, HDOT will continue to work to stabilize the slope above Pali Highway between the tunnels. Currently HDOT is investigating two possibilities to stabilize the slope and mitigate rockfall—slope stabilization via soil nails and shotcrete and extension of the tunnel structure on the Honolulu-bound side to deflect or catch rocks. An update will be provided when the appropriate solution is chosen. The work is anticipated to take months to complete.

Motorists are asked to remain patient and exercise caution if they choose to access Pali Highway during the morning Honolulu-bound contraflow or the afternoon Kailua/Kaneohe bound opening.

In addition, the following adjustments have been made to reduce congestion on the alternate routes:

  • The Kalanianaole Highway westbound HOV/Contraflow hours have been extended to 9 a.m. through Friday, Feb. 22. Normal hours for this special use lane are 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.
  • The City and County of Honolulu has adjusted the traffic signal timing on Likelike Highway to prioritize Honolulu-bound traffic during the morning rush hours.
  • Previously planned lane closures for this week on Likelike Highway and the H-3 Freeway have been postponed.

HDOT continues to encourage motorists are encouraged to use the H-3 Freeway, Likelike Highway, and Kalanianaole Highway as alternate routes and to check or traffic apps such as Google and Waze for traffic conditions before getting behind the wheel.