Maui News

Kahului Airport Access Road renamed Mayor Elmer F. Cravalho Way

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Kahului Airport Access Road. PC: Wendy Osher (8.18.21)

The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation announced today that the Kahului Airport Access Road is now Mayor Elmer F. Cravalho Way.

Work to install the new signage will take place along the route between 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28 and 4 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29. The crew will implement a roving lane closure to change the signs and will contraflow traffic as needed. Motorists are asked to drive with caution within the work zone.

The State Legislature approved Senate Bill 651 in the 2021 session calling for the Kahului Airport Access Road to be renamed for the late Mayor Elmer F. Cravalho.

Elmer Cravalho. PC: file courtesy UH Maui College.

Born in Pāʻia, Maui, Elmer Franklin Cravalho served as the first mayor of Maui from 1969 to 1979 and was the first speaker of the state house of representatives following statehood.

According to the bill that later became Act 134, “Elmer F. Cravalho was first elected as a member of the territorial house of representatives in 1954.  He became vice speaker of the territorial house of representatives in 1956, and then speaker of the territorial house of representatives in 1959.  He maintained his position as speaker of the state house of representatives through 1967, and then served as Maui county’s first mayor until July 24, 1979.”

The bill further notes that Cravalho is credited for much of Maui’s development, “especially the waterline from Wailuku to Wailea, which enabled the development of Kīhei.” Mayor Cravalho died on June 27, 2016.


The legislature further noted that the Kahului Airport Access Road officially opened less than one month after Mayor Cravalho’s death.  

“At the time, Dairy Road was the only roadway that led to the airport from south Maui.  Kahului Airport Access Road connects Hāna Highway to Lanui Loop and was built to relieve traffic congestion caused by two distinct types of automobile traffic on Dairy Road:  airport users and the local community,” according to language in the bill.

New signage overlay courtesy state Department of Transportation.

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