Pretty much as soon as I finished my monumental Highways of the United States project last year, people started asking me why I hadn’t included the two non-contiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii, both of which do actually contain federal highways in one form or another.
To be honest, after finishing the giant map of the lower 48 states and then splitting that up into all the maps of the different states and regions, I was pretty much exhausted and needed a break from the project. After two years of intensive research and design, can you blame me? Fast-forward to almost a year later, and I finally feel that I can revisit those requests for the two “missing” states. After a lot of thought, I’ve decided against doing Alaska, as my maps only show existing signed routes. While the Alaskan “A” Interstates exist on paper and in funding budgets, there’s not a single Interstate shield to be found along the highways of that state. Also, Alaska is freaking huge, and there’s no way I’m drawing/simplifying all that crinkly coastline!
Hawaii is a different matter, however, as its “H” Interstates – all on the island of O’ahu – are very definitely signed. There are three “major” highways: H-1 through H-3, and one three-digit loop highway, H-201. The major highways don’t follow the same odd/even numbering conventions of mainland Interstates, but are just numbered in the order that they were funded and constructed. Together, the four highways total just 55.4 miles (89 kilometres) in length, but feature some impressive (and expensive) engineering, especially along Interstate H-3.
And for all you people asking how the heck Hawaii can have Interstate highways when they clearly don’t travel interstate, hush. In this instance, “Interstate” refers to the method of federal funding and the minimum standards that the highway must adhere to. There are plenty of intrastate Interstate highways on the mainland: I-97 in Maryland is actually wholly contained within one county. More information on Hawaii’s Interstates here on the FHWA’s website.
The map uses the same design conventions and is drawn at the same scale as my other Highways of the United States maps, although I’ve introduced some appropriately tropical colours for each of the highways. To give a proper sense of scale, I’ve included the entire Hawaiian archipelago.
I definitely recommend that you click here to view a larger preview of the map in order to fully appreciate the majesty of the vast azure expanses of the Pacific Ocean surrounding these tiny islands.