News

DOT Offers Timetable For Queen K Traffic

December 29, 2020, 3:11 PM HST
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File photo by Jamilia Epping.

Weekday traffic on Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway north of Kailua-Kona will continue into the new year.

The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation is engaged in a repaving project along an approximately 2.5-mile stretch of highway between mile markers 90.08 and 92.44. Involved in the construction work is cold planing, which is the removal of existing asphalt.

“This is a standalone preservation/maintenance project,” said DOT spokesman Tim Sakahara. “This section was the last section with the original pavement from the 1970s, as the other sections of Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway have been repaved in recent years.”

Construction is expected to wind down in approximately three weeks time, with Sakahara citing “mid-January” as the projected end date.

Scheduled hours of construction for the highway project are generally Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., rendering Big Islanders’ morning commute the most likely to be impacted by traffic.

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However, Sakahara said the availability of asphalt or the occasional issue with equipment in the field has resulted in closure hours extending longer into the afternoon, which accounts for the end-of-day traffic many in West Hawai‘i have experienced.

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“This is necessary to ensure the road is fit to drive once the work is done for the day,” Sakahara continued.

Scheduled roadwork for state routes on the Big Island can be found online. Frequent commuters may reference the DOT’s closure listings at https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/roadwork/hawaii/ and use tools to estimate travel times such as Waze or Google Maps.

Travel time data is also available online for sections of road between state signals. This link does not cover Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway in the area of the repaving, but does show the percentage of normal time necessary to commute south of Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport.

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