Interstate H3 in Hawaii
|End||Marine Corps Base|
The Interstate H3 is an Interstate Highway in the US state of Hawaii. The highway connects a naval base and several towns on the north coast of the island of Oahu with the metropolitan area of Honolulu on the south side of the island. The highway is 25 kilometers long.
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From Interstate H3 to the Ko’olau Range.
At Halawa, the H3 begins at a major interchange with Interstate H1 and Interstate H201. The highway then quickly rises into the mountains and has a number of spectacular viaducts. The highway here goes over an uninhabited ridge and through a tunnel. One then reaches the town of Kaneohe on the north side of Oahu. The highway then continues past the city of Kailua. The highway then ends at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
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Before the construction of Interstate H3, there were two road connections from Honolulu to the Kaneohe and Kailua area. These two connections were upgraded in quick succession with tunnels through the Ko’olau Range. These were the Pali Highway ( State Route 61 ) and the Likelike Highway ( State Route 63 ).
In 1960, a network of Interstate Highways was approved by the United States Congress. Hawaii had just become a state at the time. A route from the Honolulu region to Kaneohe was also included. An important motivation was the opening up of the Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, one of the largest military installations on Oahu.
The planning of Interstate H3 was controversial. There was disagreement about the necessity and where exactly the route should run. There were proposals to align the route more with Downtown Honolulu, ie a route further east than was ultimately constructed, in the valley of the Likelike Highway.
In the end it was decided to build almost the entire route on viaducts. The northernmost section was first constructed between 1970 and 1977 between Kaneohe and Kailua. Part of the Kaneohe bypass opened in 1987. The central section through the Ko’olau Range went under construction in 1980, was subsequently discontinued and resumed in the late 1980s. Ultimately, this section was not opened to traffic until December 12, 1997. Construction of the highway ended up costing $1.3 billion, or $80 million per kilometer. At the time, this was one of the most expensive highways ever built in the United States.
The Interstate H3 is often seen as an ‘engineering marvel’, as a route on viaducts through extremely spectacular scenery.
|Two||Kaneohe Marine Corps Base||2,5 km||00-00-1977|
|No man||Two||3,9 km||00-00-1987|
|H-1||There are none||16,0 km||12-12-1997|
|Exit 9||No man||26.000|