Case Details: “When you drive from Pearl City to Honolulu, on the highway signs that have the highway H-1 symbol, some have a symbol over them that reads highway H-201. It looks very authentic and even reflects at night. What is this all about, and, is this the ‘U Down‘ guys doing yet another impossible stunt?”
It’s no stunt! H-201 is the official name of the stretch of freeway locals refer to as “Moanalua Freeway” or “Red Hill” (usually to differentiate the route from the H-1 airport viaduct), and not the more familiar “State Route 78.”
It’s a segment of highway that’s been mis-named and mis-signed for decades, but a major road resurfacing in 2003 afforded the state Department of Transportation to set the record straight… even though the change confused more than a few longtime Honolulu drivers.
This H-201 information page on the “road geek” site Kurumi.com has probably one of the best write-ups of the unique history Interstate H-201. Hardcore road scholars know that the U.S. interstate numbering system is serious business, and “H-201” could have been “H-1A,” “H-1B,” “H-101.”
- 3-digit Interstates: H-201 — Kurumi.com.
- What’s the story with Interstate H-201? — Hawaii Highways FAQ, Oscar Voss.
- Moanalua is actually part of interstate — Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 27, 2004
- New freeway designation demystified — Honolulu Star-Bulletin, August 30, 2004.