Interstate H-3 (John A. Burns Freeway) climbs east from Pearl Harbor toward the Mokapu Peninsula. Photo by Jeff Royston (01/30/06).
Interstate H3 winds eastward from Aiea to the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) on the Mokapu Peninsula. Constituting one of the most scenic routes along the Interstate system, the freeway provides a high-speed route across the Koolau Range between the leeward and windward sides of Oahu.
I-H3 originates at the Halawa Interchange, where Interstates H-1 and H-201 come together near Aloha Stadium and Halawa Heights. The freeway runs eastward from there through a valley fed by North Halawa Stream to the Koolau Range. Six miles east of H1, Interstate H-3 reaches the Tetsuo Harano (Trans-Koolau) Tunnels (Halawa portal) at an altitude of 840 feet above sea level (the Halawa portal is 1,305 feet above sea level).2
Emerging from the tunnels, Interstate H-3 circles southward along the windward side of the Koolau Range. The freeway utilizes a high viaduct above Haiku Valley to the 690 foot long Hospital Rock Tunnel2 across the north slope of Pu’u Keahi a Kahoe Mountain. The first exit along eastbound follows to connect with the LikeLike Highway (Hawaii 63) north to Puohala Village.
The remainder of H3 arcs east and north by Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden, a parclo interchange with Kamehameha Highway (Hawaii 83) and the Oneawa Hills at Mahinui. H3 concludes at the main gate to Kaneohe MCAS beyond a causeway between Nuupia Pond and Kaneohe Bay.