December 11, 2008 – Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Members of the Saddle Road Task Force, federal, state and county officials and Big Island residents gathered along the east-west connecting Saddle Road today to dedicate phase two of a massive road improvement project.

In today’s dedication, the new segment of road was blessed with the help of local dignitaries and task force volunteers. Scheduled keynote speaker, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, was busy with federal bailout deliberations in Washington, D.C. and unable to attend.

Ala Mauna Saddle Road is the island’s most direct east-west route, and has an infamous reputation for its narrow, hazardous drive and sharp turns. However, the Saddle Road improvement project has been realigning the passage, making it safer and easier to use, segment by segment.

The road is also an important link to Mauna Kea and its science observatory complex, the Pohakuloa Training Base, and Mauna Kea State Park. The surrounding forest area is also noted for its hunting and ranching lands.