Volcano-viewing route limiting hours, to close Friday
The Traffic Hazard Mitigation Route set up in response to Mauna Loa’s eruption will begin winding down today, Dec. 13, Mayor Mitch Roth announced this morning.
The THMR is a 4.5-mile, one-way route through Pōhakuloa Training Area land. Its entry is directly across from Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area. Its exit is at a junction point on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway just before the Pu‘u Huluhulu volcanic cinder cone near the Maunakea Access Road.
The THMR, which opened Dec. 1, will close permanently by Friday, Dec. 16.
The mitigation route has been utilized by nearly 30,000 vehicles who accessed the roadway to get safe viewing points of the Mauna Loa eruption, according to Hawai‘i County officials, who claimed no incidents were reported on or around the roadway throughout the 13 days of operation.
As a result of the wind-down, the THMR remains open today, December 13, until midnight. Beginning tomorrow, Dec. 14, through Thursday, Dec. 15, the THMR will only be open to the public between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight. The THMR will permanently close at noon on Friday, Dec. 16.
“We’re proud to have stood up a safe access point to the Mauna Loa eruption for our residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty of Pele,” said Mayor Mitch Roth in a Tuesday press release. “Our administration was committed to the health and safety of our community throughout the eruption, and the THMR is just one small example of the work our teams and partners put in to keep everyone safe and informed.”
Gil Kahele Recreational Area will remain open 24 hours daily past Dec. 16 for individuals looking to view the remnants of the eruption. Due to the anticipated traffic at the park, access to both the upper and lower restroom areas will be available. Parks staff requests that visitors keep their visit to under 90 minutes to help ensure accommodation for all passing by.
“We could not have made the route happen without the help of our State and Federal partners, including Governor Green, Director Sniffen, LTC. Cronin from Pōhakuloa Training Area, and General Hara. Also deserving of a special mahalo is our Parks, Public Works, and Civil Defense staff who worked through the planning and execution of the THMR,” Roth continued.