Hawai`i Roads - HI 56

HI 56

Kaua`i is the only island that uses little green banners to convey information. As you may have seen on the HI 51 page, BEGIN and END can get them. Here, the street name gets one. This is SB in Lihu`e, which sits in the shadows of the foothills of the eponymous Kaua`i Volcano.

It's only a hotel driveway, but the Hilton north of Lihu`e created a tree tunnel worth showing.

During the AM peak hour, the cones come out and turn the middle lane southbound. The traffic volumes tend not to warrant more than one lane in either direction anyway, because Lihu`e just isn't that big. Hawai`i has a common practice of allowing left-turning traffic to have a short acceleration lane - think of it as a reverse left-turn bay - so when the cones come out, that accel lane is specially coned out so left turns still only have to clear one dierction of traffic at a time.

Just like HI 56 is three imbalanced and coned lanes near Lihu`e, further up in Wailua the lane balance is maintained. Because the old bridge was two lanes and Hawai`i wasn't ready to replace it, they pressed into service an old parallel bridge that had been used for a cane haul road, taking sugar cane by truck over dirt roads from field to port. So normally, the old bridge is the same one lane each way it always has been, and the extra bridge, which just happens to be one lane, gives the balance of 2 NB and 1 SB. In the AM, to switch the balance, the old bridge is entirely SB. What's nice is that if one bridge needs to be replaced, the other bridge can always be used - admittedly more difficult with one-lane operation.

SB in the same spot, preventing traffic from using the cane haul bridge.

Just imagine what would happen if Hawai`i were a haven for fundamentalists. "Lordy, it's a message from above! Do what he says! QUICK!" Surprisingly, I saw not one reckless U-turn within miles of this sign.

The uniquely Kaua`i practice of signing guide signs as if they're route banners. The CR 581 shield is also old. This is SB in Kapa`a.

State maintenance continues, but the primary highway becomes secondary at what appears to be exactly MP 28. I don't know if the sign was moved slightly to feign perfection. It happens outside a large mall in Princeville.

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Continue north on HI 560
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