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State to Suspend Road Work for School Traffic

August 19, 2019, 2:39 PM HST (Updated August 19, 2019, 2:39 PM)
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School is in session and Hawai‘i roads are busier than ever.

The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) sent out a press release to remind drivers to plan ahead and adjust their commutes to Beat the School Jam.

The first week of school is historically busy in terms of traffic as parents and students formulate their commute, especially if it involves attending a new school, the release stated. In an effort to help traffic conditions and ease the transition into the new school year, HDOT will suspend construction-related road closures on major state highways from Aug. 26 to Aug. 30, 2019, between the hours of 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. During the this period, emergency closures, nighttime construction and roadwork that does not involve lane closures may still be scheduled.

There are more resources to help drivers choose the best route than ever before, the release continued. There are apps like GoAkamai.org, Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze, local media outlets and many others that can alert you to accidents, construction or traffic ahead.

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“Spending a few seconds to look at a traffic app can save a lot of time,” said Gov. David Ige. “With that information, people can choose the best route and decide if they need to leave earlier or adjust their plans. Of course, drivers must check their phones before starting to drive.”

The up-to-the-minute traffic mapping feature on GoAkamai.org will be extended to neighbor island roadways in HDOT jurisdiction in the near future. The roadway will be displayed in green (fast), yellow, red or black (slow) to indicate travel speeds in an area and help motorists monitor congestion and plan their commute.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

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HDOT is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and law enforcement agencies for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which runs from Aug. 14 through Sept. 2, 2019. The campaign coincides with the Labor Day holiday weekend, which is one of the deadliest times of the year in terms of drunk driving, the release stated.

During the 2017 Labor Day weekend, there were 376 crash fatalities nationwide, of which 44% involved drivers who had been drinking. For more information regarding the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign click here.

Vehicle crashes are the fastest and worst way to backup traffic, not only in the lanes they impacts, but the opposite direction as people rubberneck. Stalled vehicles blocking a lane can also create major congestion. Drivers need to make sure their car is in good working order by ensuring they have enough gas, their tires are not worn down and their car is regularly maintained, the release said.

Motorists should consider time and money saving options such as carpooling or vanpooling with friends or co-workers, taking public transportation like TheBus, biking to work or using Biki, or altering your work schedule and appointments around peak commute hours, if possible, the release continued.

HDOT Highways Program Status website

HDOT continues to post useful information on the Highways Program Status website, which allows people to track current highways projects using interactive mapping technology. Available information includes project start date, percentage complete, estimated cost and completion date. Projects that are anticipated to begin within two years are listed under the future projects section.

The program status website has additional information including pavement conditions, traffic counts for state roadways, bridge information and information on fatal crashes throughout the state. Fatal crash information includes locations of the crash, contributing factors and vehicle type. The HDOT Highways Project Status Map can be found on hidot.hawaii.gov under the Current Spotlights section.

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