East Hawaii News

Railroad Avenue Access Road to Open Saturday

December 18, 2014, 11:50 PM HST
* Updated December 18, 11:55 PM
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Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi announced crucial community information about the opening of Railroad Avenue during the community lava meeting at the Pahoa High School cafeteria Thursday.

According to Kenoi, Railroad Avenue will open to traffic beginning Saturday at 12 p.m. to offer an alternate route of access to the lower Puna area.

In attendance at the community lava meeting was Governor David Ige, who appeared as part of a day-long visit assessing the impact of the June 27 lava flow on Puna residents. He addressed an audience of roughly 450 community members.

“Please know that I’ll be working with the Mayor and Chief Oliveira to really ensure the safety, health, and well-being of your community,” Ige said. “The State will be supporting their activities.”

The governor’s trip included a tour of the lava flow front with Hawai’i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira and a visit to Kea’au High School to speak with teachers from areas affected by the lava. He also met with evacuating merchants at Pahoa Marketplace.

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Ige said his visit added a “human and personal touch” to what he knew about the situation.  He thanked and congratulated the audience for their sense of community and willingness to work together to address the challenges posed by the lava.

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As of Thursday afternoon, the lava advanced 165 yards east-northeast in a 24-hour period and sits about 0.8 miles from Highway 130, according to Civil Defense.  Oliveira said the lava does not pose any immediate threat to area residents.

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