The Hana Highway was not mapped out, built and paved overnight.  It happened in stages.  First, a complex system of canals was built to carry water from east Maui to Hana to irrigate the grounds of different plantations.  Although not the same as roads, the building of the canals did precipitate an influx of Chinese immigrant workers, and bring a Chinese-run general store to Keanae.  Now traffic to and from Paia to Hana was daily, and there was a population there and able to support itself, which meant a road could be built and maintained.  Then in the early 1900s a prison was built in Keanae.  Keanae was chosen as the site of the prison because prisoners and supplies could be brought there by using a large dock.  At this time prisoners began constructing the Hana Highway and its bridges, and locals from Keanae and Hana were hired to maintain the road being built.  The Hana Highway was paved in 1962, and today it is primarily a tourist attraction and a means for locals to travel from one area of the island to another. Hana Picnic Co is the Road to Hana expert!