Historic Resources Affected by Changes to Kuhio Highway

The Hawaii Department of Transportation, Highways Division, proposed to build bypass sections and make roadway improvements to Kūhiō Highway between Hanamā‘ulu and Kapa’a Stream on Kaua‘i. Mason Architects, as subcontractor to Kimura International, surveyed historic resources within the area of potential effect as part of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project.

The study inventoried historic resources along three proposed alternative highway routes and their associated connector roads.

Field work and year-built building data identified buildings older than the cut-off date of 1960; these buildings would be 50 years or older when the highway was completed.

Every resource was then evaluated for potential eligibility for the National Register.

  • MAI gathered historic information, maps, and photos to determine the historical integrity and significance of each structure.
  • Inventory forms were prepared for approximately 80 NR-eligible structures that would be affected by the project.

The report assessed the effects of alternative alignments on the resources and discussed possible mitigation measures.

A later supplemental report surveyed resources within the area of potential effect of the preferred Transportation System Management alternative, a one-way couplet in the core of Kapa‘a town.

Mason Architects conducted background research on Kapa’a town development, the evolution of the Wailua and Kapa‘a House Lots, the history of the Wailua River bridges, the Coco Palms resort, and Keālia Cemetery.

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Storefronts in Kapa‘a Town, looking north along Kūhiō Highway.