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Hawaii's Scenic RoadsPaving the Way for Tourism in the Islands$
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Dawn E. Duensing

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839284

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839284.001.0001

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From Footpath to Freeway

From Footpath to Freeway

(p.100) Chapter Four From Footpath to Freeway
Hawaii's Scenic Roads

Dawn E. Duensing

University of Hawai'i Press

Nu`uanu Pali is culturally significant to Hawaiians; for foreigners, it was one of Hawai`i's earliest “must-see” tourist attractions. Foreigners demanded improvements to the Hawaiian footpath, and by the 1850s it was considered essential for agriculture. Improving the Pali byway was a constant challenge: rugged topography dictated that there was little engineers could do to radically transform it. Whether a foot, horse, or cart track, it was always a work in progress and subject to criticism. Its history highlights tension between foreigners and Hawaiians as well as Hawai`i's developing social hierarchy. Engineers John Wilson and Louis Whitehouse finally built the “impossible” carriageway, employing skilled Hawaiians and unskilled Asians. Completed in 1898, the Pali carriageway was built by hand, but featured modern technology. The popularity of motor vehicles quickly rendered the Pali Road obsolete. It could never be upgraded to meet federal standards and was eventually replaced by a freeway.

Keywords:   Hawai`i, Hawaiians, tourism, roads, bridges, westernization, Nu`uanu Pali, politics, engineers

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