John H. Wilson Tunnels

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John H. Wilson Tunnels
Route Likelike Highway
Start Kāneʻohe
End Honolulu
Work begun January 1954
Opened November 1960
Operator Hawaii State Department of Transportation
Length 2775 ft

The John H. Wilson Tunnels are a pair of highway tunnels passing through the Ko‘olau Range on the island of O‘ahu. The tunnels are located on Likelike Highway (Route 63), which connects Kāneʻohe with Honolulu, and are 2775 feet (845.8 m) long westbound and 2813 feet (857.4 m) long eastbound, at 21°22′39″N 157°48′54″W / 21.37750°N 157.81500°W / 21.37750; -157.81500.[1]

The tunnels are named after former Honolulu Mayor John H. Wilson,[2] who built the first carriage road over the Nu‘uanu Pali in 1898. While mayor, Wilson advocated a tunnel connecting Kaneohe with Honolulu through Kalihi Valley. The City and County of Honolulu spent US$12 million on the tunnels and highway. Construction started on the Honolulu-bound tunnel in January 1954, and the Kāneʻohe-bound tunnel in 1957. Five lives were lost during their construction, and they were opened to traffic in November 1960.[3] The tunnels are now maintained by the Hawaii State Department of Transportation.


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Wilson Tunnel
  2. ^ Mary Kawena Pukui, Samuel Hoyt Elbert and Esther T. Mookini (2004). "lookup of Wilson ". in Place Names of Hawai'i. Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library, University of Hawaii Press. Retrieved October 8, 2010. 
  3. ^ Mike Gordon (July 2, 2006). "Pali and Wilson tunnels". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved October 8, 2010.