The state Department of Transportation has implemented a number of creative projects to help with the morning commute into town from Leeward and Central Oahu. Each of these “thinking outside the box” projects are designed to help alleviate a certain bottleneck. The extension of the Zipperlane connecting it with the Nimitz Contraflow Lane is another way the DOT is keeping Hawai`i commuters on the move.
The Zipperlane extension project builds on the success of the Zipperlane and the Nimitz Contraflow Lane.
The original ten-mile Zipperlane, which opened in 1998, helped carpoolers get past the traffic bottleneck along the H-1 Pearl City/Aiea viaduct and shaved about 15 to 20 minutes off their commute.
The 1.7-mile Nimitz Contraflow Lane, which opened in 2003, helped alleviate traffic congestion through Kalihi into downtown Honolulu, saving between 10 and 20 minutes for morning drivers.
The planned Zipperlane extension will cover a nearly three-mile gap between the end of the Zipper Lane and the start of the Nimitz Contraflow Lane.
The extended Zipperlane will connect the two points and create a continuous, 15-mile express route for carpoolers from Leeward/Central O`ahu to downtown Honolulu.
The Zipperlane extension will allow drivers to stay in their own lane without having to merge back with the rest of traffic, the hope is the project will alleviate another traffic bottleneck: along the H-1 airport viaduct.
Construction for the project began this month and is scheduled to be completed in time for the back-to-school rush.
Another of the project