Interstate H-3

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Interstate H-3 marker

1972:(Kamehameha Highway-Kaneohe MCBH)

Main route of the Interstate Highway System
Main • Auxiliary • Business

Routes in Hawaii

Interstate H-3 (abbreviated H-3) is an intrastate Interstate Highway located on the island of O‘ahu in the state of Hawaii in the United States. H-3 is also known as the John A. Burns Freeway. It crosses the Ko'olau mountain along a viaduct and through the 5,165 foot (1.6 km) long Tetsuo Harano Tunnels as well as the much smaller Hospital Rock Tunnels.

Despite the number, signage is that of an east–west highway. Its western terminus is at an intersection of Interstate H-1 at Hālawa near Pearl Harbor. Its eastern end is at the main gate of Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH). This route satisfies the national defense purpose of connecting the Marine Corps base with the U.S. Navy port at Pearl Harbor off Interstate H-1.

Orders for the freeway were granted in 1960, followed by planning stages. Construction, amid enormous community protest, was begun in the late 1980s, although the road did not open until December 12, 1997. Environmental complaints and legal challenges halted construction at many points. Construction resumed during the late 1980s due to an unprecedented move by U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, who in 1986 had the freeway exempted from most environmental laws[1] as a rider on a Department of Defense budget bill[2].

H-3 is one of the most expensive Interstate Highways to be built, on a cost per mile basis. Its final cost was $1.3 billion, or approximately $80 million per mile.[2]


Route description

Interstate H-3 begins at the Halawa Interchange with Interstates H-1 and H-201. The freeway then runs along a viaduct through Halawa Valley for about 6 miles (9.7 km) until it reaches the Tetsuo Harano Tunnels through the Koolau Mountains. Once on the eastern end of the tunnel, the freeway follows a viaduct built along the side of Haiku Valley until the Kaneohe Interchange with state route 63 (Likelike Highway) which leads into the town of Kaneohe. The freeway then continues to the Halekou Interchange with state route 83 (Kamehameha Highway), then for four more miles until it reaches the main gate of Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

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