Interstate H-2

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Interstate H-2

Veterans Memorial Freeway
Map
H-2 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by HDOT
Length8.33 mi[1] (13.41 km)
ExistedAugust 29, 1960–present
HistoryCompleted in 1977
NHSEntire route
Major junctions
South end H-1 in Waipahu
North end Route 99 in Wahiawā
Location
CountryUnited States
StateHawaii
CountiesHonolulu
Highway system
H-1 H-3

Interstate H-2 (named the Veterans Memorial Freeway) is an intrastate Interstate Highway located on the island of Oʻahu in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The north–south freeway connects H-1 in Pearl City to Mililani and Wahiawa, where it terminates at Route 99 near Schofield Barracks.

The Interstate System was expanded to Hawaii in 1960 along several corridors, with H-2 assigned to the north–south connection between the Honolulu area and Wahiawa. Construction began in 1971, and the first section opened to traffic on October 3, 1974. The rest of H-2 was completed on February 21, 1977.

Route description

H-2 southbound in Wahiawa

H-2 begins at the Waiawa Interchange with H-1 in Pearl City, adjacent to Leeward Community College on the north side of Pearl Harbor. The eight-lane freeway travels north through the residential Waipio neighborhood and intersects Ka Uka Boulevard near several retailers and warehouses. H-2 then turns northeast and follows the Pānakauahi Gulch as it skirts the foothills of the Koʻolau Range, passing a solar farm and undeveloped land.[2] The freeway turns northwest to cross Kipapa Gulch and bisects a residential neighborhood in the city of Mililani, where it intersects Meheula Parkway. The freeway narrows to four lanes as it approaches Wahiawa and turns north to travel around Wheeler Army Airfield. H-2 terminates after an interchange with Route 99, which continues west on Wilikina Drive to Schofield Barracks.[3]

The freeway is maintained by the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) and is designated as part of the National Highway System, a network of economically and militarily strategic highways in the U.S.[4] H-2 has a set of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes between the Waiawa Interchange and Mililani that are active during peak periods on weekdays.[5] Traffic volumes on the highway, measured in terms of annual average daily traffic, ranged in 2020 from a minimum of 36,900 vehicles at its northern terminus to a maximum of 87,900 vehicles at H-1.[6] TheBus, a city-wide bus system, operates several express routes on H-2 between Downtown Honolulu and Wahiawa.[7]

History

Planning and funding

A set of Interstate Highways on O‘ahu were approved for funding by the U.S. Congress in 1960, a year after Hawaii was admitted as a state.[8] The corridors would connect Honolulu to Naval Air Station Barbers Point to the west, Schofield Barracks to the northwest, Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay to the northeast, and Diamond Head to the southeast.[9] The Bureau of Public Roads (now the Federal Highway Administration) approved "Interstate H-2" as the designation for the Schofield Barracks corridor on August 29, 1960.[8]

The freeway would be built parallel to a section of the Kamehameha Highway, which opened in 1921 to connect Honolulu to the North Shore and the windward side of the island.[10][11] A set of three general routing options were presented at a public hearing in October 1962, all to be at least four lanes wide except for a section around Wheeler Army Airfield.[12] The easternmost option, with an estimated cost of $29.2 million (equivalent to $217 million in 2022[13]) was chosen by officials following feedback from the hearing.[14] Construction of H-2 was scheduled to begin in 1967, but federal funding cuts deferred several Interstate projects on O‘ahu, including the Waiawa Interchange and Kipapa section of H-2.[15]

Following the partial restoration of federal funding,[16] HDOT opened bids in November 1967 on construction of the Waiawa Interchange with H-1.[17] The remainder of H-2 remained indefinitely deferred, along with funding for H-3.[18] The federal government allocated $51 million (equivalent to $336 million in 2022[13]) for the entire H-2 project in October 1968,[19] allowing for bidding on other construction contracts to open.[20] The original embankment design of crossings for the Kipapa and Waikakalaua streams near Mililani was later replaced in 1971 with bridges to reduce costs and potential erosion issues.[21] H-2 was described as "Hawaii's forgotten freeway" by local newspapers, as its planning was generally uncontroversial compared to other projects, such as H-3, and did not attract the attention of anti-highway activists.[22][23]

Construction and later projects

Construction on the southernmost section of H-2 began in early 1971 with work on the Waiawa Interchange.[24] By June 1973, grading of the Pearl City–Kipapa section of the freeway was nearly complete and contracts for paving and interchange construction were prepared to be released.[25] The remaining projects for H-2, with the exception of the Kipapa Gulch bridge, were contracted by August and under construction by the end of the year.[26][27] Work on the Waikakalaua Gulch bridge near Mililani began in December 1973,[28] while the Kipapa Gulch bridge began the following year using a cantilevered truss system.[29] Construction on a section of the freeway near Wheeler Army Airfield unearthed the ruins of the Cabrini Chapel, a small church built by Italian prisoners of war housed at Sand Island from 1944 to 1945.[30]

The southernmost section of the freeway, traveling two miles (3.2 km) from the Waiawa Interchange with H-1 to the Mililani Cemetery, was completed in early 1974.[23] It was opened to traffic on October 3, 1974, after a temporary road through the cemetery was finished, connecting H-2 to the Kamehameha Highway near the Mililani Town development.[31][32] Part of the freeway's northern terminus at the Wahiawa Interchange opened in October 1975 to allow traffic to bypass a congested left turn on the Kamehameha Highway.[33] The final section of the freeway, including the Kipapa Gulch bridge, opened to traffic on February 21, 1977, after a delay while awaiting delivery of a transformer to control its lights.[34][35] The entirety of H-2 cost an estimated $43 million (equivalent to $163 million in 2022[13]) to construct.[35] The freeway's HOV lanes also opened at the same time, having been added to replace an earlier plan for exclusive bus lanes,[36][37] but were eliminated in January 1979 due to low use.[38]

Construction of the freeway allowed for residential development in the Waipio Valley and around Mililani, which had been designed in conjunction with H-2 in the late 1960s.[35][39] A pair of sites along the highway were also considered in the 1970s for the second Oʻahu campus of the University of Hawaiʻi, which was ultimately located at Kapolei.[40] A new interchange with Ka Uka Boulevard was opened in July 1989 to serve new development in Waipio.[41] The Mililani Mauka development opened in the 1990s after development closer to the freeway was approved.[42][43] The Meheula Parkway interchange was rebuilt in 1993 to accommodate expected traffic and H-2 was widened to readd the HOV lanes, which opened in December 1994.[44][45]

H-2 was designated as the Veterans Memorial Freeway in 2002 by the state government.[46]

Exit list

The entire route is in Honolulu County.

Locationmi[3]kmExitDestinationsNotes
Pearl City0.00.01 H-1 – Honolulu, WaianaeSigned as exits 1A (east) and 1B (west); exit 8 on H-1
Waipio2.43.92Ka Uka Boulevard
Mililani5.58.95Mililani Mauka, Mililani TownAccess via Meheula Parkway; signed as exits 5A (Mauka) and 5B (Town) northbound
Waipio Acres7.211.67
Route 99 north / Leilehua Golf Course Road – Mililani Tech Park, Wheeler AAF
Northbound exit and southbound entrance
Wahiawa7.4–
7.9
11.9–
12.7
8
Route 99 north – Wahiawa
Northbound exit is via Route 80
8.313.49
Route 99 south (Kamehameha Highway)
Southbound exit and northbound entrance

Route 99 north
Continues north as Wilikina Drive
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References

  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. ^ Shimogawa, Duane (January 29, 2015). "First Wind's major solar farm on Oahu's North Shore gets review from city". Pacific Business News. Archived from the original on January 19, 2022. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Google (November 15, 2021). "Interstate H-2" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  4. ^ Federal Highway Administration (October 1, 2020). National Highway System: Urban Honolulu, HI (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Washington, DC: Federal Highway Administration. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 12, 2021. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  5. ^ "Special Use Lanes". Hawaii Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on November 14, 2021. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  6. ^ "HIDOT Highways Program Status". Hawaii Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 7, 2021. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  7. ^ Routes 83, 84, 84A, 96, 98, 98A, PH2, PH3, and 99 (PDF) (Map). TheBus. September 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Weingroff, Richard. "Interstates in Hawaii: ARE WE CRAZY???". Ask the Rambler. Federal Highway Administration. Archived from the original on October 14, 2021. Retrieved November 15, 2021.
  9. ^ "Freeways To Be Extended". The Honolulu Advertiser. June 19, 1960. p. 39. Archived from the original on November 15, 2021. Retrieved November 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  10. ^ Sigall, Bob (January 3, 2020). "Rearview Mirror: Kamehameha Highway possesses storied history". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. p. B6. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  11. ^ "State Marks Kam Highway To Block Lane Leaners". The Honolulu Advertiser. September 5, 1962. p. B4. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Freeway: Leeward Hearing Set For Tuesday". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 7, 1962. p. A7. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ a b c Johnston, Louis; Williamson, Samuel H. (2023). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved December 19, 2023. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the Measuring Worth series.
  14. ^ "Route C Favored As Freeway Path". The Honolulu Advertiser. October 10, 1962. p. A2. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  15. ^ Lund, Kay (February 23, 1967). "Federal cutback throws H-1 plans into slow gear". The Honolulu Advertiser. p. C1. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  16. ^ Lund, Kay (May 11, 1967). "Road plan zips into high". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. p. B4. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  17. ^ "$4.5 Million HD&C Bid Lowest on H-1 Section". The Honolulu Advertiser. December 8, 1967. p. B6. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  18. ^ Lund, Kay (May 16, 1968). "State pressing for H-1 completion". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. p. E8. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  19. ^ "U.S. funds for Pearl City to Wahiawa road". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 31, 1968. p. F1. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  20. ^ "One Bidder For Road Project". The Honolulu Advertiser. November 24, 1968. p. E4. Archived from the original on November 18, 2021. Retrieved November 17, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  21. ^ "High speed bridges to span 2 gulches". The Honolulu Advertiser. May 7, 1971. p. D2. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  22. ^ Hostetler, Harold (November 29, 1973). "Nobody complains about H-2". The Honolulu Advertiser. p. C2. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ a b Smollar, David (June 16, 1974). "'Forgotten' freeway proceeds smoothly". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. p. A3. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  24. ^ "H-2 Hearing Tomorrow". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. April 13, 1971. p. C12. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  25. ^ "Freeway work going smoothly". The Honolulu Advertiser. June 26, 1973. p. A10. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  26. ^ "Everything's Booming on H-2 Improvements". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. August 21, 1973. p. C2. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  27. ^ "Work to begin soon on H-2". The Honolulu Advertiser. October 25, 1973. p. A16. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  28. ^ "H-2 Bridge Work to Begin". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. December 18, 1973. p. A21. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  29. ^ Tune, Jerry (April 7, 1976). "New Building Process Cuts Cost of Bridge". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. p. C7. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  30. ^ Nelson, Lyle (September 8, 1976). "WWII Footnote Frozen in Stone". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. p. C5. Archived from the original on November 21, 2021. Retrieved November 20, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ "Ribbon cutting on H-2". The Honolulu Advertiser. October 4, 1974. p. B6. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  32. ^ "H-2 ceremony slated Monday". The Honolulu Advertiser. February 16, 1977. p. A2. Archived from the original on November 15, 2021. Retrieved November 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  33. ^ "Part of Wahiawa Interchange Open". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. October 3, 1975. p. D16. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  34. ^ Imig, Joanne (January 13, 1977). "The Kokua Line". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. p. A3. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  35. ^ a b c "Long-Awaited H-2 Freeway Opens". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. February 21, 1977. p. 2. Archived from the original on November 15, 2021. Retrieved November 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  36. ^ Harpham, Anne (February 22, 1977). "New restricted lanes: destination mass transit". The Honolulu Advertiser. p. A1. Archived from the original on November 15, 2021. Retrieved November 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  37. ^ Tune, Jerry (July 19, 1973). "State Proposes H-2 Bus Lane". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. p. B4. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  38. ^ December 28, 1978. "State Will Eliminate H-2 Car-Pool Lanes". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. p. A3. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  39. ^ Cook, Bill (December 17, 1967). "A Town With a Plan". The Honolulu Advertiser. p. D1. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  40. ^ "UH eyeing 35 sites for Oahu 2nd campus". The Honolulu Advertiser. January 22, 1972. p. A13. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  41. ^ Killelea-Almonte, Patti (August 1, 1989). "Waipio Interchange to H-2 opens". The Honolulu Advertiser. p. A3. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  42. ^ Tune, Jerry (January 4, 1987). "Mililani Mauka Plans For Housing, College Campus". The Honolulu Advertiser. p. B1. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  43. ^ Glauberman, Stu (June 15, 1992). "Freeway exits multiply along with Oahu development". The Honolulu Advertiser. p. A3. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  44. ^ Engle, Murry (March 22, 1993). "New ramps coming for freeway drivers heading to Mililani". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. p. A4. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  45. ^ Morse, Harold (February 20, 1995). "Lane abuse frustrates commuters". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. p. A4. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  46. ^ Leidemann, Mike (October 29, 2002). "Governor renames Honolulu freeways". The Honolulu Advertiser. p. B1. Archived from the original on November 15, 2021. Retrieved November 15, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.

External links