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Author Topic: Piilani Highway  (Read 3190 times)

Sub-Urbanite

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Piilani Highway
« on: July 25, 2021, 10:11:05 PM »

Hey team - Has anyone done the Piilani Highway fully around Maui? I'm curious what condition the road is in Ė Streetview seems to indicate rough asphalt but nothing absurd, but maybe I'm missing something?
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oscar

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Re: Piilani Highway
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2021, 09:34:49 AM »

Hey team - Has anyone done the Piilani Highway fully around Maui? I'm curious what condition the road is in Ė Streetview seems to indicate rough asphalt but nothing absurd, but maybe I'm missing something?

There are two parts of the Piilani Highway, that don't connect. The state route 31 portion from Kihei to Wailea is a fast two-to-four lane paved highway, and takes you to the beaches of south Maui. The county route 31 portion is part of a complete loop through east Maui, starting at the end of state route 37 near Ulupalakua, and ending at Kalepa Gulch near Kipahulu where the county-maintained part of the Hana Highway begins.

The second part of the Piilani includes some unpaved segments near its east end, where you can get stuck if the road is wet. Other segments are paved, but cliff-hugging and with one-lane stretches including 5mph blind curves.

See my two-part photo collection for more details.
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Alps

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Re: Piilani Highway
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2021, 07:30:45 PM »

Wikipedia suggests 31 used to connect and was severed by developments. My recollection, and supported by aerial photos, is that the connecting segment was simply never built. Which is it?

Life in Paradise

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Re: Piilani Highway
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2021, 11:57:25 AM »

In the late 80s I went through the loop that includes Lahaina, and up and down the side of the cliffs with my rental car.  I realized why the rental car place said that I was not covered to go through that area.  I definitely did not tell them!
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Jim

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Re: Piilani Highway
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2021, 12:12:38 PM »

The southeastern loop was fun when we did it in 2006.  I don't know what might have changed in the last 15 years.

https://www.teresco.org/pics/hawaii-20060820-0902/0826/piilani.html
« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 12:15:22 PM by Jim »
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oscar

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Re: Piilani Highway
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2021, 05:29:01 AM »

Wikipedia suggests 31 used to connect and was severed by developments. My recollection, and supported by aerial photos, is that the connecting segment was simply never built. Which is it?

AFAIK, until 1984 there was a connection, over a bad unpaved private road. The landowner closed the road, not because of development (though the west end of the closed road ran between two golf courses, which on Maui is a good enough excuse to close even a public county road because golf is more important), but rather liability concerns over letting the public use such a substandard road.
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Re: Piilani Highway
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2021, 10:45:26 PM »

Well, I drove it.

Thoughts:

1. It was tighter than a Mormonís britches. This wouldnít be a problem if other drivers practiced some common sense, but it seems a lot of folks leave common sense behind when they travel to Maui.

1b. Whatís common sense?

- Driving with your window rolled down
- Honking at blind corners
- Looking ahead on the road and stopping at the nearest pullout if thereís a car approaching
- Knowing the width of your rental car and getting it as far off the road as possible
- Not doing the drive in a *car*. This road is definitely for trucks. I saw a guy taking a Camaro on it and was really, really sad for him.

2. Functionally, it wasnít terrifying. The cliffside portions were crazy, and, yeah, could easily cause a problem if youíre on a one-lane road, along the ocean, and people arenít behaving nicely. Thankfully I didnít run into that.

2b. It was a slog though. Because it was narrow, because of the constantly watching for other drivers and thinking ahead, because of the rough asphalt (the gravel wasnít bad) it was just Ö work. And to be honest, the Road to Hana is also work, itís just work on better asphalt.

3. But holy crap it was gorgeous. To go so abruptly from the jungle of Kipahulu to the desert of the Leeward side was incredible. I am glad the road is not in perfect shape so as to keep it from being a drier version of HI 360.

So, for future travelers reading this thread, first, thanks for searching before posting. Second, you probably wonít trash your rental car doing this. Third, use common sense and assume others wonít.
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Rothman

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Re: Piilani Highway
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2021, 11:10:18 PM »

My britches are tight?
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Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

Alps

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Re: Piilani Highway
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2021, 06:31:52 PM »

Well, I drove it.

Thoughts:

1. It was tighter than a Mormonís britches. This wouldnít be a problem if other drivers practiced some common sense, but it seems a lot of folks leave common sense behind when they travel to Maui.

1b. Whatís common sense?

- Driving with your window rolled down
- Honking at blind corners
- Looking ahead on the road and stopping at the nearest pullout if thereís a car approaching
- Knowing the width of your rental car and getting it as far off the road as possible
- Not doing the drive in a *car*. This road is definitely for trucks. I saw a guy taking a Camaro on it and was really, really sad for him.

2. Functionally, it wasnít terrifying. The cliffside portions were crazy, and, yeah, could easily cause a problem if youíre on a one-lane road, along the ocean, and people arenít behaving nicely. Thankfully I didnít run into that.

2b. It was a slog though. Because it was narrow, because of the constantly watching for other drivers and thinking ahead, because of the rough asphalt (the gravel wasnít bad) it was just Ö work. And to be honest, the Road to Hana is also work, itís just work on better asphalt.

3. But holy crap it was gorgeous. To go so abruptly from the jungle of Kipahulu to the desert of the Leeward side was incredible. I am glad the road is not in perfect shape so as to keep it from being a drier version of HI 360.

So, for future travelers reading this thread, first, thanks for searching before posting. Second, you probably wonít trash your rental car doing this. Third, use common sense and assume others wonít.
Sounds like you encountered Maui drivers!

 


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