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Traffic Diversion Causes Backup 11-06-00

PHONE: 961-2214
NOVEMBER 6, 2000


Hilo police are urging motorists living in the Kaumana area to avoid Komohana Street when traveling to the Hilo Industrial Area or Puna.

Because Komohana Street is closed to traffic between Mohouli and Ponahawai Streets, motorists traveling makai on Waianuenue Avenue created a traffic jam by trying to use Punahele Street and turning onto Komohana.

Captain Francis Rodillas, head of the South Hilo Patrol Division, said motorists traveling toward the Hilo Industrial Area or Puna should use Kamehameha Avenue or Kinoole Street instead of Komohana.

Kamehameha Avenue was wide open Monday morning, and Kinoole Street had moderate, steadily moving traffic, Rodillas said.

Although extra patrol officers were present at key points to handle the traffic flow, and the Police Department had issued a traffic advisory Friday, motorists who insisted on trying to use Komohana Street created long lines of backed-up traffic, he said.

Komohana, a major Hilo thoroughfare, will be closed to traffic between Mohouli and Ponawahai Streets for the foreseeable future.

The stretch of heavily used mauka roadway, about 0.6 mile in length, was closed to traffic because of extensive damage caused by the recent storm.

Motorists traveling toward the Waiakea area from the Kaumana area via Komohana are being diverted makai down Ponahawai Street. From Ponahawai, they then can proceed to the Waiakea area by way of Kinoole Street or Kamehameha Avenue.

Motorists driving to town from the Waiakea area via Komohana are being diverted makai on Mohouli Street. From Mohouli, they can then proceed toward town by using Kapiolani, Kinoole or Kilauea Streets.

Except for the Komohana detours, Hilo traffic is following normal patterns.

Rodillas urged motorists to exercise patience and drive with extra caution, for traffic in the Hilo area will be heavier and slower than normal until Komohana is reopened.

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