Hawai‘i DOCARE: Avoid Mauna Kea-Saddle Road Intersection
The Maunakea Media Team held a teleconference at 11 a.m. on July 15, to address concerns and answer questions about the ongoing protests by those calling themselves the Mauakea kia‘i (protectors).
Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement Chief Jason Redulla and Cindy McMillan, Gov. David Ige’s communications director working in the joint information center, were on the line to answer questions from the media.
This morning, law enforcement began an operation to close the Mauna Kea Access Road said Chief Redulla.
The operation began with a dialogue with kia‘i leaders, he said.
At 8 a.m., DOCARE closed the Mauna Kea Access Road to all traffic until further notice.
Chief Redulla underscored that law enforcement’s priority was the safety of the protestors as well as the drivers along the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) and the access road.
He said the state Department of Transportation will begin installing barriers along highway between vehicles and people to provide a safety buffer along DKI Highway.
Puʻuhuluhulu, the protestors’ refuge area and the parking lot remain open, he said.
The intersection of DKI Highway and Mauna Kea Access Road is dangerous because of the number of people and vehicles in the area. Exercise extreme caution, he said.
The team also shared that no arrests had been made at the time of the teleconference.
Chief Redulla was asked, but could not disclose how many county and state law officers have been dispatched to the area or how many are in the wings, waiting to be deployed.
He only recommended that drivers avoid the area, which is very unsafe.