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Hawaii Route 36A to Kahului Airport


Hawaii Route 36A is an approximately half mile State Highway located on the Island of Maui in the community of Kahului.  Hawaii Route 36A exists on a disconnected portion of Haleakala Highway west of Dairy Road and Keolani Place to the vicinity of Palapala Drive.  Hawaii Route 36A prior to the completion of Hawaii Route 3800 during 2016 was the primary access road to Kahului Airport.  Despite what the route number of Hawaii Route 36A may imply it is not an alternate routing to Hawaii Route 36 nor Hana Highway.  


Part 1; the history of Hawaii Route 36A

As noted in the intro part of Hawaii Route 36A exists on a disconnected segment of Haleakala Highway from Hawaii Route 36/Hana Highway to Keolani Place/Dairy Road.  The Hawaii Territory maintained portion of Haleakala Highway was completed to the boundary of Hawaii National Park (now Haleakala National Park) began to be constructed by 1929.  Haleakala Highway would be completed to the 10,023-foot summit of Red Hill atop Haleakala when the National Park Service opened their segment during 1935.  


Following the attack on Pearl Harbor on Oahu on December 7, 1941, the military presence in Hawaii Territory was immediately bolstered.  Although the main influx of military activity in Hawaii Territory was centered around Oahu there also was a military presence on Maui.  During 1942 construction of Naval Air Station Kahului began and established many roads around the facility.  It is likely that what is now Keolani Place was constructed as part of Naval Air Station Kahului. 

Following the conclusion of World War II, Naval Air Station Kahului was turned over to the Hawaii Aeronautics Commission.  The facility was converted to civilian usage and reopened during June 1952 as Kahului Airport.   Haleakala Highway east from Hana Highway to Dairy Drive and Keolani Place can be seen on the 1954 United States Geological Survey connecting as the primary access roadway to Kahului Airport.  

The Island of Maui seemingly was not part of the original World War II era Hawaii Route System.  Circa 1955 the United States Bureau of Public Roads renumbered the Hawaii Route System.  The 1955 Hawaii Route Renumbering saw most of the conventions utilized by the current Hawaii State Route System established.  Primary Hawaii Routes were given two-digit numbers whereas Secondary Hawaii Routes were given three-digit numbers.  The Hawaii Routes were assigned in sequence for what Island/County they were located on coupled with what Federal Aid Program number they were tied to.  In the case of the Island of Maui it was assigned numbers in the range of 30-40.  

Kahului Airport can be seen on the 1959 Gousha Map of Hawaii without a Hawaii Route directly serving it.  


According to hawaiihighways.com Keolani Place was added to the State Highway System during the 1960s as Hawaii Route 396 as it was the primary access road to Kahului Airport.  Haleakala Highway east from Hana Highway through Kahului Airport may have been signed as Hawaii Route 37 and Military Route 37.



According to hawaiihighways.com the Military Route 37 was not part of the numbered highway system on Maui by 1981.  Keolani Place appears on the 1983 United States Geological Map of Maui as part of an extended Hawaii Route 380.  West of Hawaii Route 380/Dairy Road the segment of Haleakala Highway to Hana Highway appears without a Hawaii Route number.  


Haleakala Highway through Kahului Airport appears to have been bisected by an extension of the south runway approach and replaced with Kala Road at some point during the 1990s.  The bisected Haleakala Highway through Kahului Airport appears on the 1997 United State Geological Survey Map of Maui.  The same map still displays Hawaii Route 380 following Keolani Place into Kahului Airport.  Haleakala Highway between Hana Highway east to Hawaii Route 380/Dairy Road/Keolani Place appears without a Hawaii Route number. 


It is unclear when Hawaii Route 36A was designated but it appears to have been a recent addition.  Hawaii Route 36A seems to have been designated to simplify the signed route access to Kahului Airport.  Hawaii Route 36A was designated over Haleakala Highway east from Hana Highway to Hawaii Route 380/Dairy Road.  From Dairy Road the designation of Hawaii Route 36A replaced Hawaii Route 380 on Keolani Place to Kahului Airport. 

Keolani Place and Hawaii Route 36A have recently been replaced by Hawaii Route 3800 as the primary access road to Kahului Airport.  Hawaii Route 3800 is the newest State Highway on Maui and was fully opened to traffic on July 23, 2016.  Much of Hawaii Route 3800 was originally known as Kahului Airport Access Road and assumed the current name of Mayor Elmer F. Cravalho Way effective July 1, 2017. 



Part 2; a drive on Hawaii Route 36A

From Hawaii Route 36/Hana Highway eastbound traffic is advised that Kahului Airport can be accessed by following Hawaii Route 36A onto Haleakala Highway.  



Hawaii Route 36A eastbound follows Haleakala Highway to Hawaii Route 380 at Dairy Road and makes a left hand turn onto Keolani Place.





Hawaii Route 36A eastbound follows Keolani Place to the Kahului Airport boundary where it terminates.




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