The state Department of Transportation says it is suspending lane closures along Farrington Highway for the next two weeks starting Monday, after new road work projects and the back-to-school traffic have been causing major gridlock along the Waianae Coast.
The lane closures on Farrington Highway are between Lualei Place to Mohihi Street from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for paving work, and between for Nanakuli and Haleakala Avenues from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for utility work.
"The traffic is crazy everyday, but Thursday was extra crazy," said Maili resident Charmaine Coronel.
Coronel said getting her kids to school on time this week has been challenging with all the road work. She often took back roads to avoid the congestion.
"They would've been late for school. And I left early actually," she said.
Some commuters said the gridlock was so bad that a drive that normally takes five minutes -- took 45.
State Representative Andria Tupola said she was concerned there were no special duty police officers helping direct traffic.
"It's not that we don't want road improvement, it's just that coordination is so key. If traffic mitigation is not on point, they really need to shut down projects when it's backed up for miles and hours and people haven't been able to plan ahead for this kind of stuff," Tupola said.
After seeing the increase in traffic and hearing complaints from drivers, the transportation department says it will keep the lanes open for two weeks so people can prepare for when road work resumes.
Transportation officials say they will also work with the city to open the Waianae Coast Emergency Access Road (WCEAR) when there are significant lane closures on Farrington Highway.