The East Maui Irrigation System is Hawaii's most dramatic water story. It began with the construction of the Old Hamakua Ditch built between 1876 and 1878. This privately financed, constructed and managed irrigation system was one of the largest in the United States. It eventually included 50 miles of tunnels; 24 miles of open ditches, inverted siphons and flumes; incorporates approximately 400 intakes and 8 reservoirs.
Conceived in the early years of World War II as a plan to bury four fuel containers horizontally in a hillside at the U.S. Navy facility at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the Red Hill Underground Fuel Storage Facility ultimately encompassed the design and construction of 20 vertical storage tanks - each large enough to contain a 20-story building - buried in the volcanic hillside and connected by tunnels to a harbor-side pumping station more than two-and-a-half miles away.
The Kamehameha V Post Office is the oldest surviving public building in the U.S. constructed with reinforced concrete. The success of this early structure helped establish the value of reinforced concrete as a durable construction material.
Brickmaker J.G. Osborne was chosen to provide design and construction. He immigrated to Hawaii from Yorkshire, England, and was aware of the recent development of Portland cement and its expanding use in Europe. It is believed that the leaders of Hawaii were anxious to adopt British skills, which influenced their selection of Osborne.