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‘No Outlet’ Restriction Trial Discontinued

The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) announces that it is discontinuing the trial “no outlet” restriction from 29th Avenue (also known as Poni Moi Avenue) onto Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road (Highway 130).

This restriction, which sought to improve the efficiency of the highway by limiting the side street connections, was put in place Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, and concluded Tuesday, March 6, 2018.

“After weighing the public feedback and the benefits of the ‘no outlet’ restriction at 29th Avenue we have decided to look at other options to improve the operations of Highway 130,” said HDOT Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “Much mahalo to the Hawaiian Paradise Park residents for their cooperation and patience during this trial.”

The HDOT Highways Division, Hawaii District is currently exploring other options to increase efficiencies along Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road. More information on upcoming operational improvements will be made available at a later date.

HDOT Announces Restriction to Improve Hwy 130 Traffic Flow

The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation (HDOT) announces a “no outlet” restriction from 29th Avenue (also known as Poni Moi Avenue) onto Kea‘au Pāhoa Road (Highway 130) Monday through Friday, between the hours of 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., excluding weekends and state holidays. This restriction is effective Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, and will be conducted on a trial basis through the morning of Monday, March 5, 2018.

Uncontrolled access along Highway 130 was identified as a safety concern in the Final Environmental Assessment for the Kea‘au Pāhoa Road Improvements. HDOT will consider limiting the number of access points to the highway in portions of the corridor in accordance with the recommendations from the Environmental Assessment.

“We are constantly exploring cost-efficient and effective ways to improve our highways system,” said HDOT Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “Hawai‘i District crews have observed A.M. traffic building in this area due in part to multiple side street connections to the highway. We are limiting access from 29th Avenue as a test to evaluate the benefits and impacts of the restriction.”

Signage to notify motorists of the “no outlet” restriction, as well as traffic control devices, will be placed at the intersection to alert motorists to the trial.

HDOT would appreciate any comments on this pilot from the community. Please send comments to DOTPAO@hawaii.gov or call the HDOT Hawai‘i District at (808) 933-8866 prior to the end of the trial on Monday, March 5, 2018.

101 Traffic Fatalities Statewide

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) is saddened to report 11 traffic fatalities since the release of November’s preliminary year-to-date traffic fatality data on Nov. 15, 2017.

“Tragically we are now at 101 traffic fatalities statewide,” said HDOT Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “That’s 101 mothers, fathers, sisters, or brothers that are lost to their families and friends this holiday season—and beyond. At HDOT we are prioritizing safety in every project we do and we’re asking everyone to make safety on the streets and sidewalks a priority too. Working together, we can reduce Hawaii’s annual traffic fatalities from 101, to 80 or fewer by 2018, toward the ultimate goal of zero deaths.”

All road users—motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists—can help reduce preventable deaths on Hawaii roadways by avoiding the top contributing factors in traffic fatalities. These factors are speeding, driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and distracted driving.

In 2016, 46 of 109* fatal crashes involved speeding, contributing to roughly 45 percent of the year’s 120 fatalities. Drivers in 64 of the 109 fatal crashes tested positive for alcohol and/or drugs, accounting for 73 deaths. Finally, approximately 13.7 percent of the fatalities on Hawaii’s roads in 2016 were determined to have had distracted driving as a contributing factor.

Drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists are encouraged to visit the HDOT Safe Communities page at http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/safe-communites/ and the Hawaii Strategic Highway Safety Plan website at http://www.hawaiishsp.com/ to learn more about simple measures they can take to ensure their own safety and the safety of their families and friends.

 

Traffic Fatality Data from January 1, 2017 through December 11, 2017

Motor Vehicle Occupants Pedestrians Motorcycle, Moped, Scooter Operators Bicyclists ATV
Operators
TOTAL
C&C of Honolulu 19 9 7- m/c
4 – moped
1- scooter
Total – 12
3 1 44
Hawaii County 24 2 5 – m/c
1 – moped*
0 – scooter
Total – 6*
3 0 35
Maui County 10 1 4 – m/c
0 – moped
1 – scooter
Total – 4
0 0 16
Kauai County 6 0 0 – m/c
0 – moped 0 – scooter
Total – 0
0 0 6
TOTAL 59   12 23 * 6 1 101  

*indicates 1 motorized bicycle

Traffic Fatality Data from January 1, 2016 through December 11, 2016

Motor Vehicle Occupants Pedestrians Motorcycle, Moped, Scooter Operators Bicyclists ATVOperators TOTAL
C&C of Honolulu 22 20 7- m/c5 – moped

0- scooter

Total – 12

0 0 54
Hawaii County 22 5 2 – m/c1 – moped

0 – scooter

Total – 3

0 0 30
Maui County 13 5 3 – m/c0 – moped

0 – scooter

Total – 3

0 0 21
Kauai County 5 1 0 – m/c
0 – moped
1 – scooter
Total – 1
0 0 7
TOTAL 62 31 19 0 0 112

Hwy 130 Costs Exceeds $25 Million in 5 Years

Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road construction on Highway 130 in Puna over the last five years has cost Hawai‘i taxpayers more than $25 million.

Speed limits along the corridor have been reduced from 55 mph to 45 mph.

There is still much work to be done in the next few years and costs will be incurred as more studies and projects are funded.

The following contracts were awarded to various firms from Thursday, May 31, 2012, to Thursday, Oct. 16, 2016:

  • On Thursday, May 31, 2012, Jas. W. Glover received a contract for $492,620.00 for Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road intersection improvements at Ainaloa Boulevard. Federal-Aid Project No. HSIP-013030.
  • On Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2013, Nan Inc., received a contract for $14,988,673.00 for the Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion Phase one. Federal-Aid Project No. STP-013028.
  • On Wednesday, June 18, 2014, Isemoto Contracting received a contract for $4,819,350.00 for Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road intersection improvements at Old Government Road. Federal-Aid Project No. HSIP-0130 031.
  • On Thursday, June 20, 2016 SSFM International received a contract for $1,275,750.00 for Professional Services.
  • On Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016, Jas W. Glover received another contract for $3,720,700 for Kea‘au-Pāhoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion Phase 2 Shower Drive Intersection Improvements. Goods, Services & Construction.

Total: $25,297,093

These costs do not include previous contracts awarded for recommendations made by the Kea‘au-Pāhoa Advisory Group (KPAG).

New State Highway Data Now Available on HDOT Website

The Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation Highways Division recently added useful datasets to its website.

Screen shot image of HDOT map. Hawaii Department of Transportation.

The public can now view pavement conditions and average annual daily traffic volume for state roads on all islands, and view the locations of fatal traffic crashes from 2012 to 2016. The new data also provides monthly updates on current and future road projects.

In July, HDOT released a user-friendly map that shows the schedule, scope, and estimated cost for all current State Highways projects as well as all projects planned to begin construction in the next two years.

“We’re sharing the data we’ve collected with the public in the interest of transparency,” said HDOT Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “Now members of the public can easily access highways safety and other helpful information that is used to guide our programs.”

The new data shows Average Annual Daily Traffic as the total volume of vehicle traffic over a road over the course of a year divided by 365 days. HDOT gathers AADT through a combination of permanent, in-ground traffic counting stations, overhead cameras, and temporary traffic counters or tubes.

The Fatal Crash data is compiled from completed traffic investigation reports. To be considered a motor vehicle fatality in the state of Hawaiʻi, a fatal crash must involve a motor vehicle traveling on a traffic way customarily open to the public and must result in a death of at least one person (occupant of a vehicle or a non-motorist) within 30 days of the crash. The data is provided for highway safety and educational purposes only.

According to the data, 495 fatal crashes occurred in the state of Hawaiʻi between 2012 to 2016. The primary contributing factor to 188 (38%) of those crashes was alcohol. Drugs was the contributing factor to 90 (18%) of those crashes, followed by speeding resulting in 52 (10.5%) of the fatal crashes.

According to HDOT data, on Hawaiʻi island there were 112 fatal crashes that occurred between 2012 and 2016. Alcohol was the primary factor in 41 (36.6%) of the fatalities, followed by drugs with 26 (23.2%).

Pavement condition data is gathered through Laser Crack Measurement System, a remote sensing method that compiles three-dimensional information, such as cracking or rutting, on roadways. The LCMS data HDOT uses is gathered by a vehicle mounted unit that drives over state roads on a biennial basis (each individual road under state jurisdiction is surveyed once every other year).

The majority of roads on Hawaiʻi island were considered fair.

Datasets such as the pavement conditions and average annual daily traffic figures will be updated on an annual basis. HDOT says fatal crash data is updated as traffic incident reports are finalized and the last year of available data is 2016.

The ESRI powered map is currently optimized for the Chrome browser. Questions or comments on the map may be sent to DOTPAO@hawaii.gov

Hawaii County Department of Public Works Request for Support Letters for Kea’au – Pahoa Road TIGER Grant Application

Aloha Big Island ‘Ohana!

Please assist the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation, Division of Highways, Hawaii District with a support letter for their Pahoa Road Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant Application. I have attached DPW’s letter of support for your reference.

As support for the project is very important to the effort, we ask that you respond with a formal letter stating your support for the project. We ask that you respond by Thursday, October 12, 2017. Support letters can be emailed to: donald.l.smith@hawaii.gov

Please contact Donald Smith if you have any questions at (808)933-8866.

Mahalo,
Barett Otani, Hawaii County Department of Public Works

————

Continue reading

Parts of Shower Drive and Pohaku Drive to Close Saturday, Oct. 7 and Sunday, Oct. 8 for Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) announces the following traffic modifications in the Hawaiian Paradise Park neighborhood this weekend as part of the ongoing Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion, Phase 2.

SATURDAY, OCT. 7, 6 A.M. TO 6 P.M.

  • Shower Drive from Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) to 28th Avenue will be closed to thru traffic.
  • Lane shift on Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) in both directions in the vicinity of the Shower Drive/Pohaku Drive intersection.

SUNDAY, OCT. 8, 6 A.M. TO 6 P.M.

  • Pohaku Drive from Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) to Pohaku Circle will be closed to thru traffic.
  • Lane shift on Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) in both directions in the vicinity of the Shower Drive/Pohaku Drive intersection.

Hawaii County has been notified and emergency vehicles will use alternate routes, if necessary, as the work involves milling of the existing roadway and fill with hot mix asphalt.

Use of the hot mix asphalt and extended weekend work hours will allow HDOT to complete the necessary paving in this area in one weekend versus over the course of a week.

Electronic message boards notifying the public of this weekend’s work will be posted in the area of the planned closures.

Hele-On (The Bus) Community Meetings in Puna

In 2010 Fourth District County Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi received a grant check for $7.2 million on behalf of the County of Hawai‘i from U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye to fund mass transit improvements

I received the following from Councilwoman Jen Ruggles:

Aloha Kakou,

We are putting out the call to all the people in Puna that have ideas to improve our Hele-on Bus System. Now is the time to bring your needs and ideas forth.

This is the first of two rounds of meetings meant to guide the county in making its first ever 20 year Master Transit Plan. MARK YOUR CALENDAR to make one of the following meetings:

  • October 11th at 6pm at Kea’au Community Center 16-186 Pili Mua St. Kea’au HI 96749.
  • October 12th at 6pm at Pahoa Community Facility 15-2910 Kuahala St. Pahoa HI 96778.

Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Now is the time to show our need for:

  1. More bus routes.
  2. Expanded routes into subdivisions
  3. Your ideas for improvements

Need a ride? Call Jo-Anna at 808-356-1260 to arrange a ride at least 5 days prior to the event. If you cannot attend, please submit your suggestions to heleonsuggestions@ssfm.com.

Hawaii Representative Responds on Why She Voted Yes With Reservations During Special Legislative Session


Hawaii Island Representative Joy SanBuenventura posted the following response on her Facebook page as to why she voted Yes (with reservations) on the recent controversial rail bill:

Representative Joy SanBuenaventura

“Why I voted Yes with Reservations: For the reason I voted no in 2015 because I did not like the rail fiasco, I don’t trust Caldwell’s numbers & the amendment to exempt neighbor island from TAT surcharge (which I voted for and spoke up for) overwhelmingly failed. The 2015 rail bill passed which led to the rock & hard place we are in now: If this current bill failed by 9/15, we would be stuck with an $800 million bill to fed govt (That’s why Hanabusa and Schatz stepped in when they stayed away previously – they saw that the leg was willing to let rail fail by our lack of agreement when 2017 session ended & our unwillingness to schedule a special session- the special session was scheduled at the last possible minute prior to 9/15 fed deadline & only after Hanabusa & Schatz stepped in). We no longer have Dan Inouye nor President Obama and our fed legislators keep speaking out against trump- so fed relationships needed to be retained with the day-to-day non-appointees who actually administer the fed grant $. Hanabusa & Schatz were concerned that if rail died, ALL our fed grants are subject to re-review. Half our highways our funded by feds, including Hwy 130. Someone needs to keep nagging DoT so that Hwy 130 doesn’t lose its place in the STIP and I didn’t want to give DoT another excuse not to fund 4-lanes (they already allowed the $15 mil for the alternate access to lapse & they already blame me for the failure of the gas tax they wanted in 2016 session). DoT was in every rail hearing even if sometimes they don’t testify.

The TAT was always a state tax created in 1986 to help the tourist industry create a convention center and to advertise Hawaii as a destination. In 1991 various grants were given to the counties so that they can promote their own tourism on their island. The big island gets 18.6% of the county share (at least 4% more than we are entitled to because Harvey Tajiri who was once finance chair juiced it) – with this county vs. state debate, a tracking-down of where the money is generated is going to occur and I suspect the big island will lose this advantage because our visitor count shows only 14% of visitor arrivals vs. statewide. The huge pressure to vote “no” has already cost the Big Island to lose statewide power when Cindy Evans lost her majority leadership position – so this huge pressure to vote “no” when the “yes” votes were going to win only led the big island to a worse bargaining position when state monies are used for grants and capital improvements. Most neighbor island reps supported the amendment making this an Oahu-only TAT but we were overwhelmingly outvoted – so the “yes” votes were going to win regardless.

The current bill was a compromise between the 2 chambers & the hotel/tourist industry – It was originally 2-3% of TAT. It was meant to export the tax to tourists after Caldwell’s testimony that tourists paid for most of it and Hanneman stating that 90-99% of hotels are rented to out-of -state residents. The original neighbor island tax referred to in Civil Beat was a statewide GE surcharge which option was soundly rejected by all. TAT is deductible by residents but GE is mostly deductible based upon income. Moreover, I felt this bill was a move towards a more equitable tax away from the regressive GE which is a tax on everything and is paid by everyone including those who cannot afford a hotelroom. Everyone was already paying the Oahu GE surcharge without knowing it because the GE is a tax on wholesale items and even on the tax itself that’s why its 4.1666666 not just 4%.

As to lack of notice: Unless there is a constitutional amendment for a year-long legislative session, this lack of notice will always be a problem because we have 60 days to parse through hundreds of bills and every year we asked for funding for neighbor island residents to testify, we lose. The rail bill like all bills had the 48-hour notice and in this case because there was a special session, it got even more notice than the other bills; and frankly, I called a certain councilperson when this bill was going through the transportation committee in the original session as to the county position before it got to the yes or no stage – but got no response back (I suspect she did not want to violate the sunshine law by just polling members & the mayor on interim positions before getting back to me). Again I remain committed to lessen the burden on local B-n-B’s caused by this bill by introducing a bill next session and I invite the local b-n-b’s to give me a proposed draft of such a bill.”

 

Celebration of Life and Silent Auction Planned for Ernest Jackson

Ernest James Jackson was killed tragically in a motorcycle accident August 24, 2017 in Pahoa HI. He leaves behind his wife Jenn and his 3 children: Jamar, Tristan, and Amora.

His Celebration of Life will be Saturday September 2, 2017, 1pm until 4pm, at the E-Max building, Kalani Honua Resort, 12-6860 Kalapana-Kapoho road, Pahoa.

There will be a silent auction in conjunction with the Celebration of Life, with the proceeds going to Ernest’s children. We are accepting all manner of donations for the auction; massages, watsu, art, meals, vacation packages, jewelry, personal services, etc.

If you would like to donate something for the auction, please contact the organizers Kevin Horton and Misti Johnson.

Contact:
Kevin Horton/Misti Johnson
Kalapana100@yahoo.com
PH: 808-965-1084
FaceBook: Kevin Horton

Community Forum to Discuss Puna Roads

Representative Joy San Buenaventura will host a Community Forum on Saturday, September 9, at the Hawaiian Paradise Park Activity Center. The panel will include representatives from the Department of Transportation, Hawaii County Council, and the Hawaii County Department of Public Works.

  • WHEN: Saturday, September 9, 1:30 – 4:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: Hawaiian Paradise Park Activity Center, 15-1570 Makuu Dr, Keaau, HI 96749

Panelists will speak about the condition of roads in Puna and provide progress updates for highway 130 and other roads. The event is free and open to the public with seating space assigned on a first come basis.

Man Charged in Connection with Theft of County Mass Transit Bus

Hawaiʻi Island police have charged 21-year-old Kawelo Nakamura in connection with the theft of a county mass transit bus.

Kawelo Nakamura

On (August 6), at 3:43 p.m., police located the bus on Route 130 and was able to stop it near the intersection at Kaohuwalu Street in Pāhoa, at which time officers arrested Nakamura who was its operator.

Photo by Daichi Marquis

On (August 7), police charged Nakamura with first degree theft, accident involving vehicle/property damage, first degree criminal property damage, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and driving without a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

Photo from Kawika Tokita on Facebook.

Nakamura is being held at the Hilo cellblock in lieu of $13,000 bail pending his initial appearance in South Hilo district court (August 8).

Kiki Lane stated the following on Facebook which lead to the arrest: “”The bus” just over took us on railroad and side swiped my mirror and kept driving, my kids are freaking out and this piece of shit didn’t even stop! police were called! Keep on the look out bus number 342 and license plate Ch3439″….
“Update: just spoke to the police “the bus” that hit me was a stolen bus!
bus number 342 and license plate Ch3439
Please be on the look out and stay out of his way!”

Police initially responded to a 1:47 p.m., report (August 5), of a hit-and-run traffic accident on Railroad Avenue in Hilo involving a Hawaiʻi County mass transit bus that fled the scene. No one was injured in that incident. At 2:36 p.m., police were informed that the bus was stolen from the County’s Hilo base-yard sometime early Saturday morning.

Witnesses saw him earlier down at 4-mile Beach in Keaukaha earlier in the morning. Photo from Kawika Tokita Facebook Account.

Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have any other information about it is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Detective Tuckloy Aurello of the Area I Criminal Investigation Section at (808) 961-2385 or Tuckloy.Aurello@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

About Pahoa’s New Library

Well it looks like Pahoa will be getting a new library!

In a Mayor Kim response letter to State Librarian Stacey A. Aldrich dated July 26th 2017,  Kim stated that the county fully supports a new public library for Pahoa and would allow it at the existing location where the Pahoa Police and Fire Station currently exists on Highway 130 as long as there is a separate access that wouldn’t interfere with emergency response vehicles.

Big Island Police Identify Man in Keaau Fatal Accident

Police have identified the man who died from injuries sustained in a single-vehicle crash Monday (May 22) on Highway 11, merging from the Keaʻau bypass (Highway 130) in Keaʻau.

He was identified as 71- year-old Ulysses Guillermo of Hilo.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-8119. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Update on Today’s Fatality in Keaau

A man died following a one-vehicle crash this morning (May 22) in Keaʻau.

His name is being withheld pending positive identification and notification of his family.

Responding to an 8:06 a.m. call, police determined that a 1998 Toyota truck was traveling Hilo bound, merging from the Keaʻau bypass (Highway 130) onto Highway 11 when the driver lost control, ran up an embankment and overturned.

The man died on the scene and was taken to the Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 11:02 a.m.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Keith Nacis at 961-8119. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

This is the 16th traffic fatality this year compared with 10 at this time last year.

Puna Community Meeting on Transportation Options

The public is invited to learn about new rideshare technologies using a smartphone that can provide Puna with much needed jobs and rides. Council member Jen Ruggles will be hosting a community meeting on new transportation opportunities this Thursday, May 25th at 6pm at the Keaau Community Center.

“Dependable, safe, and convenient transportation is a critical need in our district,” said Ms. Ruggles, “there is a public transportation planning process currently underway. In order for Puna’s complex needs to be met we need to improve our bus system and welcome alternative transportation methods.”

Hawaii County’s new director of Mass Transit, Curtis Sharp, will also be there to give an update on the status of the bus system, the new master plan, and to answer questions. Representatives from transportation network companies Uber and Lyft, who have already started recruiting drivers on the Big Island, will give a short presentation and answer questions.

“Considering half our bus fleet is out of service, we have an exciting new opportunity with Uber and Lyft just coming to the Big Island. I want to make sure the community has a chance to take full advantage of it.”

Snacks and refreshments will be provided. For more information contact the office of Jen Ruggles at 808-961-8263.

Man Dies in Keaau Accident

I just drove by the following scene and this is the Hawaii Fire Department press release on what happened.

Situation Found at Scene:

Found 1 male unresponsive with weak pulse and not breathing, with massive head injury. Vehicle flipped on the drivers side, with driver partially pinned in vehicle.

Photo by Craig Watanabe

Cause:
Motor Vehicle Accident

Remarks:
Upon arrival found 1 male driver unresponsive with weak pulse and massive head injury, utilized extrication and stabilization tools to safely extricate patient.  After extrication, patient examined with no signs of life, base station MD notified. Patient left on scene in HPD custody who will await body removal.

HPD and Hwy. Division on scene for clean up and traffic control.

Big Island Police Identify Man Killed in Keaau Car Crash

Police have identified the man who died from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash Sunday night (May 14) on Highway 130, near the Shower Drive and Pōhaku Drive intersection in Keaʻau.
He was identified through fingerprints as 31-year-old Travis Serquina of Keaʻau.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Erhard Autrata at 961-8118. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion Update

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) provides the following update on the Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion, Phase 2, Shower Drive Intersection Improvements project. Work has temporarily been stopped and is anticipated to resume in early June.

Keaau to Pahoa Highway Map Plans from a few years ago.

Construction has been temporarily stopped as HDOT is in the process of obtaining a new permit for this project which is designed to improve traffic flow in Puna through the installation of a permanent north bound shoulder lane and a temporary south bound shoulder lane between mile posts 4.15 and 4.25 of Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) and installation of a traffic signal at the Keaau-Pahoa Road/Shower Drive intersection. The Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion, Phase 2, Shower Drive Intersection Improvements project also involves relocation of water system facilities and utility poles as well as installation of pavement markings, striping, and signage.

The contractor for Phase 2 began work in January 2017 using a permit that was obtained for Phase 1 of the shoulder lane conversion project. This permit expired during the Phase 2 construction. HDOT anticipates receiving the new permit within 40 days and is revising the estimated completion date for this project to mid-November.

Further updates will be available on the HDOT Highways Division website (http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/) under the Major Projects tab.

Hawaii Civil Defense Lava Flow Update

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reports the active lava flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the East Rift Zone is entering the ocean at Kamokuna located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Additional surface flows are active near Puʻu ʻŌʻō and more recently moving beyond the National Park eastern boundary onto private property near the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Bright incandescence is visible from the active lava flow field, and the lava flow does not pose a threat to any community at this time.

This image is from a research camera positioned on Holei Pali, looking east towards Lava Flow 61G and Kalapana.

To maintain public safety and to extend the use of the emergency road or Highway 130, the County of Hawai‘i opened the emergency road to lava viewing since June 30, 2016. Vehicular traffic on the emergency road is limited to local residents and emergency vehicles, and is being monitored by security guards posted along the viewing area. The road is unpaved and surrounded on all sides by rough lava flows on private property. Public access is restricted to the graded roadway and viewers are asked to please respect private property and the rights of local residents.

The “firehose flow” at Kīlauea Volcano’s Kamokuna ocean entry was clearly visible from the public lava viewing area established by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The viewing area is 800 meters (about one-half mile) from the ocean entry, but affords excellent views of the lava flow. HVO Photo

Visitors need to be aware of the following reminders:

  • Viewing area hours are from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily, with the last car allowed to park at 9:00 p.m.
  • It is about 8.5 miles round-trip from end of the pavement on Highway 130 to the ocean entry at Kamokuna and back. The flow can be seen starting from just beyond the parking lot all along the viewing area route.
  • Restroom facilities are limited and lack running water.
  • All members of your party should dress appropriately with boots or sturdy, covered shoes, long pants and a hat.
  • Be prepared for rain, wind, sun, heat and dust exposure.
  • Bring lots of water (1-2 liters per person), there is no potable water available.
  • Bring a flashlight for walking at night.

Our goal is to maintain public safety, protect the interests of Kalapana residents, and extend the use of the emergency road or Highway 130.  We ask for your patience and kokua (help).