Traffic Jams on Kamehameha Highway

Brown water crosses the road as cars sit on Kamehameha highway
Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Traffic Jams on Kamehameha Highway

Sometimes taking the scenic route in Hawaii might not be the best idea. That’s because, as opposed to the freeways, scenic routes tend to be just two-way streets that are more susceptible to traffic jams and road closures.

Take the drive to Oahu’s North Shore, for instance – via Kamehameha Highway. It’s a gorgeous drive along the ocean, with plenty of photo opps and stops for local eats. But it only takes one unfortunate traffic accident to back up vehicles for miles upon miles. Oftentimes, if the accident was fatal, police will close the road all together.

Needless to say, this really messes up your commute. Drivers are either stuck waiting for hours before the road opens up, or they’re forced to turn around and backtrack to the freeway. Either way, you will be spending a lot of time in the car and not enough time doing something fun while on vacation! My best advice would be to pull over to the nearest beach or roadside stand and kill time there.

It is a risk you will take wherever you travel on an island; however, on a freeway, you’re able to take the next cut-off and turn around that way. There are more options, for sure. We just got stuck in about an hour of standstill traffic when a water main broke near Waiahole Poi Factory. Water gushed across the road, while the line of cars grew longer and longer.

The most frustrating part of our experience was that we were so close to our destination! I could have walked there if I really wanted to. We ended up waiting but were so thankful they didn’t shut down the road completely. Otherwise, the wait would have been much longer.