Interstate H-1

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Interstate H-1

H-1 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by HDOT
Length27.16 mi[1] (43.71 km)
HistoryCompleted in 1986
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
West end Route 93 in Kapolei
Major intersections H-2 in Waipahu
H-3 / H-201 in Aiea
East end Route 72 in Honolulu
CountryUnited States
Highway system
Route 8930 H-2

Interstate H-1 is the longest and busiest Interstate Highway in the US state of Hawaii. The highway is located on the island of Oʻahu. Despite the number, this is an east–west highway; the 'H'-series (for Hawaii) numbering reflects the order in which routes were funded and built. H-1 goes from Route 93 (Farrington Highway) in Kapolei to Route 72 (Kalanianaole Highway) in Kāhala. East of Middle Street in Honolulu (exit 19A), H-1 is also known as the Lunalilo Freeway, after the former Hawaiian king, and is sometimes signed as such at older signs in central Honolulu. West of Middle Street, H-1 is also known as the Queen Liliʻuokalani Freeway, after the former Hawaiian queen; this name is shown on some roadmaps. It is both the southernmost and westernmost signed Interstate Highway located in the US.

Route description

Aerial view of H-1 (looking east) from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport heading into Downtown Honolulu

H-1 begins near the Campbell Industrial Park in the town of Kapolei. West of this point, Route 93 (Farrington Highway) continues toward Waianae. The freeway continues east, passing the community of Makakilo until reaching the junction with Route 750 (north to Kunia Camp) and Route 76 (south to ʻEwa Beach).[2]

H-1 then continues along the northern edge of Waipahu approximately three miles (4.8 km) until its junction with H-2. It then continues east through the towns of Pearl City and Aiea for approximately five miles (8.0 km) to the complex Halawa Interchange, where it meets H-3 and H-201. The highway then turns south for two miles (3.2 km), then east soon after the exits for Hickam Air Force Base and Pearl Harbor. At this point, the highway runs along a viaduct above Route 92 (Nimitz Highway), passing to the north of Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.[2]

H-1 westbound viewed from Ward Avenue near Downtown Honolulu

Two miles (3.2 km) past the airport exit, three lanes exit the freeway at exit 18A to join Nimitz Highway toward Waikiki, while, half a mile (0.80 km) later, the remaining two lanes make a sharp turn south as H-1 reaches another major interchange with the east end of H-201. Access is provided by a left exit from H-1 east only. H-1 west does not have access to H-201 at this point.

From here, H-1 runs through the city of Honolulu along a series of underpasses and viaducts. A flyover interchange leading to Downtown Honolulu has a westbound exit and an eastbound entrance. H-1 ends in the Kāhala district of Honolulu near Kahala Mall, where Route 72 (Kalanianaole Highway) ends.

During morning commute hours on weekdays, an eastbound contraflow express lane is deployed from just east of exit 5 to exit 18A, where it connects to the beginning of the Nimitz Highway contraflow lane. The H-1 contraflow lane is often referred to as a "zipper lane" due to the use of a movable concrete barrier and a zipper machine. The H-1 and Nimitz Highway contraflow lanes are restricted to buses, motorcycles, and vehicles with two or more occupants while in operation.


A 1965 photo of H-1 under construction, looking eastbound, ending at Harding and Kapahulu avenues[3]

A set of Interstate Highways serving Oʻahu were authorized by the federal government in 1960, a year after Hawaii was admitted as a state. One of the corridors, connecting Barbers Point to Diamond Head, was designated as H-1 by the Bureau of Public Roads (now the Federal Highway Administration) on August 29, 1960.[4][5] The portion of H-1 that runs through Downtown Honolulu had opened in 1953 as the Mauka Arterial and was incorporated into the new freeway. This section has been largely unchanged since its inception and its design suffers from having too many on/offramps, short distanced onramps, and onramps that enter the freeway almost immediately before an offramp (opposite of current design standards). The 'new' section of H-1 was, however, built to modern freeway standards.

Construction on the first new section of H-1 began in 1963, shortly after alignments were approved for most of the freeway.[6] The Lunalilo Freeway, already planned by the state government and funded with a 50-percent match from the federal government, was incorporated into plans for H-1 in 1965 following the rejection of five other proposed routings.[7][8] The westernmost section of H-1 in Makakilo opened on September 29, 1966.[9] The Kapiolani Interchange, opened in October 1967, filled a gap between two sections of the Lunalilo Freeway spanning three miles (4.8 km) in Honolulu.[10][11] Another gap in H-1 was filled in March 1969 with the opening of three miles (4.8 km) between Kunia Road (Route 76) and the Waiawa Interchange with H-2.[12]

The Hawaiian Interstate shields have gone through several changes. Early shields contained the hyphen as per the official designation (e.g., H-1); however, these shields have been updated with the hyphen removed (e.g., H1). As in other states across the contiguous US, early Interstate shields also included the writing of 'Hawaii' above the Interstate route number and below the 'Interstate' writing.[13] While the "Queen Liliʻuokalani" section of H-1 has signs designating it as such (one eastbound at exit 1, the other westbound after exit 19), there are no similar name signs for the Lunalilo Freeway portion (the remainder of the freeway).[14]

Interstate H-4

Interstate 4

Length6.5 mi (10.5 km)

In the 1960s, a fourth freeway that would have been Interstate H-4 (H-4) was proposed for the city of Honolulu. The intent of H-4 was to provide relief to the congested H-1 through Downtown Honolulu. Had it been built, the 6.5-mile-long (10.5 km) route of H-4 would have started at exit 18 (H-1/Nimitz Highway interchange) and followed the Honolulu waterfront to the Kapiolani interchange (exit 25B).[15] The idea, however, was unpopular and the freeway was never built.[14]

Exit list

The entire route is in Honolulu County.

Farrington Highway (Route 93 west)
Continuation beyond western terminus
1AKalaeloa Boulevard – Kalaeloa Airport, Barbers Point Harbor (Route 95), Campbell Industrial Park)Signed as exit 1 westbound
1.121.801BWakea Street – Makakilo, Kapolei, KalaeloaNo westbound entrance; signed as exit 1D westbound
Farrington Highway (Route 93 west) – Wet'n'Wild Hawaii
Westbound exit only
2.213.562Makakilo Drive – Kalaeloa AirportNo eastbound exit
Kualakai Parkway (Route 8930 south) – Kapolei, Ewa, University of Hawaiʻi – West Oʻahu
Formerly North–South Road[17]

Route 750 north / Route 76 south – Kunia, Waipahu, Ewa
Southern terminus of Route 750; northern terminus of Route 76; signed as exits 5A (south) and 5B (north) westbound
8.2013.207Waikele, Waipahu
Farrington Highway (Route 7101 west) – Waipahu
No westbound entrance; eastern terminus of Route 7101

Kamehameha Highway (Route 99 east) – Pearl City
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
H-2 north – Mililani, Wahiawa, North Shore
Eastbound signage; southern terminus of H-2; signed as exit 8A westbound

Farrington Highway (Route 7101 west) / Kamehameha Highway (Route 99 north) – Waipahu, Waipio
Westbound signage
Kamehameha Highway (Route 99 north) – Waipio
No westbound entrance
Waimalu11.6218.7010Waimalu, Pearlridge, Pearl City
H-201 west – Aiea, Pearlridge
No westbound entrance; western terminus of H-201

H-3 east to H-201 east – Kaneohe, Moanalua
Western terminus of H-3; signed as exit 13B westbound
Halawa14.6123.5113BHalawa Heights, Stadium (H-201)No westbound exit
Kamehameha Highway (Route 99 west) – Arizona Memorial, Aloha Stadium
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; eastern terminus of Route 99
16.8527.1215B Nimitz Highway (Route 92) – Joint Base Pearl Harbor–HickamSigned as exit 15 eastbound
17.7728.6016 Airport
Aolele Street, Paiea StreetNo westbound exit
18A Nimitz Highway (Route 92) – WaikikiSigned as exit 18 westbound
19.3431.1218BMiddle Street (Route 7415), Dillingham BoulevardEastbound exit and westbound entrance
20.3632.7719AMiddle Street (Route 7415)Westbound exit only
H-201 west – Fort Shafter, Aiea
Westbound left exit and eastbound left entrance; eastern terminus of H-201
Likelike Highway (Route 63 north) – Bishop Museum
Southern terminus of Route 63
20BHoughtailing StreetWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
Vineyard Boulevard (Route 98 east) – Chinatown
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance; western terminus of Route 98
21.3534.3620CPalama StreetWestbound exit only
22.3135.9021ASchool Street – ChinatownWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
Pali Highway (Route 61)Signed as exit 21B westbound
22.7736.6421BPunchbowl StreetEastbound exit and westbound entrance
Vineyard Boulevard (Route 98 west)
Westbound exit and eastbound entrance; eastern terminus of Route 98
23.1037.18Kinau Street – WaikikiEastbound exit and entrance
23Lunalilo StreetNo eastbound exit
24.0638.72Punahou Street – Manoa, WaikikiEastbound exit and westbound entrance
25.0740.3524ABingham StreetEastbound exit and westbound entrance
Wilder AvenueWestbound exit only
25.3040.7224BUniversity Avenue – University of Hawaii at Manoa
25.6241.2325AKing Street – Waikiki, Honolulu Zoo
25BKapiolani Boulevard – WaikikiWestbound exit and eastbound entrance
26.1042.006th Avenue – KaimukiEastbound exit and westbound entrance
26.8343.1826AKoko Head Avenue – KaimukiEastbound exit and westbound entrance
27.5344.3126BWaialae Avenue – Waialae, KahalaSigned as exit 26 westbound
28.1645.3227Kilauea Avenue – Waialae, KahalaWestbound exit and eastbound entrance

Kalanianaole Highway (Route 72 east) / Waikui Street east / Ainakoa Avenue north
At-grade intersection; highway continues east as Route 72
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Auxiliary routes

  • A portion of the Moanalua Freeway is designated as H-201. Until mid-2004, it was signed as Route 78.


  1. ^ Starks, Edward (January 27, 2022). "Table 1: Main Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways". FHWA Route Log and Finder List. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Google Maps street maps and USGS topographic maps, accessed December 2007 via ACME Mapper
  3. ^ Watanabe, June. "Kokua Line". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
  4. ^ Weingroff, Richard. "Interstates in Hawaii: ARE WE CRAZY???". Ask the Rambler. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  5. ^ "Freeways To Be Extended". The Honolulu Advertiser. June 19, 1960. p. 39. Retrieved November 15, 2021 – via
  6. ^ "H-1 Part Of Defense Super Trio". The Honolulu Advertiser. September 20, 1963. p. A12. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via
  7. ^ "U.S. Names Lunalilo H-1; State To Recoup $23 Million". The Honolulu Advertiser. United Press International. February 12, 1965. p. A1. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via
  8. ^ Buchwach, Buck (January 7, 1964). "State To ask Lunalilo Freeway as H-1 Route Through Honolulu". The Honolulu Advertiser. p. A1. Retrieved November 20, 2021 – via
  9. ^ "Ceremony Opens Strip Of New Isle Freeway". The Honolulu Advertiser. September 29, 1966. p. A18. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via
  10. ^ "Interchange speeds cars into usual town jam-ups". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 27, 1967. p. A4. Retrieved November 20, 2021 – via
  11. ^ "By Land, Sea an Air: Putting the Roads on the Show". The Honolulu Advertiser. February 20, 1968. sec. IV, p. 13. Retrieved November 20, 2021 – via
  12. ^ "Another Stretch of Freeway Opens". The Honolulu Advertiser. March 20, 1969. p. D18. Retrieved November 20, 2021 – via
  13. ^ Voss, Oscar (June 2006). "Hawaii Road Sign Photos (Page 2 of 3)". Hawaii Highways. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  14. ^ a b "Interstate H-1". Interstate-Guide. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  15. ^ Proposed Route H-4, Interstate and Defense Highway System Extension (PDF) (Report). State of Highway Department of Transportation. October 1968. Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  16. ^ DeLorme (2007). Street Atlas USA (Map). DeLorme. Toggle Measure Tool.
  17. ^ Hawaii Department of Transportation (February 11, 2010). "North–South Road Completed, New Name Unveiled" (Press release). Hawaii Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 3, 2012.

External links