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Meeting Scheduled For Puna Connectivity Committee

August 25, 2015, 11:12 AM HST
* Updated August 25, 11:21 AM
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A new committee aims to address concerns about road connectivity in Puna during a 10 a.m. meeting Wednesday at the Hawai’i County Council Chambers in Hilo.

The committee will discuss new goals and processes and review of last year’s Connectivity and Emergency Response Subcommittee Report (CERS). There will also be a review and discussion on this year’s CERS annual report and a review of community responses about connectivity location proposals.

The meeting is open to the public.

According to the CERS annual report, the number one priority is to create an alternate route in Upper Puna from Volcano to Highway 130. Due to the growing population along Upper Puna Highway 11, the committee saw it crucial to address the fact that there is no way to travel parallel to Highway 11 without running into existing obstructions in that there are no connections between the subdivisions.

According to the document, the Upper Puna connectivity priorities include Kaleponi to Punahele (Fern Forest to Eden Roc); Punahele to Apele (Eden Roc to Kopua Farm Lots); Waimako O Pele to Orchid (Kopua Farm Lots to Fern Acres); Orchid to Uhiniana (Fern Acres to Hawaiian Acres); Pulelehua to Pohaku (Hawaiian Acres to Orchidland); Alula to 40th (Hawaiian Acres to Orchidland); Complete South Lauko Road into Fern Acres; Complete South Oshiro Road into Eden Roc Estates; and a recommendation to the county to improve intersection of 40th and Orchidland.

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The report also references the recent lava flow activity, which caused the state and county to open connecting roads between Nanawale, Hawaiian Beaches and Shores and Hawaiian Paradise Park, along with Chain of Craters Road.

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The report recommended that Chain of Craters road be open all the time, and that an alternate route in and out of Nanawale Estates be created to Highway 130 on the Forest Road right of way.

The subcommittee also recommended in the report that a viability study be initiated to create a road between HPP and Milo Road.

Members of the committee include Puna Councilman Daniel Paleka, Puna Councilman Greggor Ilagan, Ka‘u Councilwoman Maile David, Hilo Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi.

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Also on the committee will be Puna Community Development Plan Chairperson Patti Pinto and connectivity subcommittee chairperson Marlene Hapai.

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