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PHOTOS: Highway 132 Roadwork Begins

June 7, 2019, 10:58 AM HST (Updated September 10, 2019, 11:24 AM)
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Construction will start on Monday, June 10, 2019, to restore an approximate 3.2-mile stretch of lava-covered Highway 132, according to Hawai‘i County Mayor Harry Kim.

Highway 132 was inundated by lava during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption.

Construction to restore Highway 132 underway, June 10, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard.

The Hawai‘i County Department of Public Works is planning to complete temporary road construction before Oct. 5, to qualify for 100% Federal Highway Administration reimbursement.

The project was described as an “initial ‘temporary’ access restoration phase” in a May 30 email from county Public Works Director David Yamamoto.

Construction to restore Highway 132 underway, June 10, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard

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The mayor said the road will be paved, and much better than the Highway 137 work that allowed access to Isaac Hale Beach Park in Pohoiki.

Mayor Kim said the project should be completed “the first week of October, to qualify for federal funds, 100% reimbursement.”

Construction to restore Highway 132 underway, June 10, 2019. PC: Crystal Richard

Isemoto Contracting Co. and Ludwig Construction Inc. were selected by a bidding process. The estimated cost of the project is $11.9 million.

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Mayor Kim said roughly 50 homes remain in what has been called the (land isolated by recent lava flows). Those homes weren’t destroyed but were isolated by more than 40-foot high lava, in some areas, covering the highway.

Puna Geothermal Venture has allowed about 200 residents to use a road across its property. The road is rough and requires four-wheel drive.

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