(ABOVE PHOTO) Kalapana side of Chain Of Craters Road by Ena Media Hawaii, courtesy of Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
- Governor Neil Abercrombie today issued an executive order that turns over 3.68 miles of the state-owned portion of Chain of Craters Road near Kalapana to Hawaii County. The county will now be responsible for its repair and maintenance as a county highway.
- During Wednesday’s daily media conference call on the lava flow, Mayor Billy Kenoi said the county is “very appreciative” of the state’s action.
- Chain Of Craters Road could end up costing the county between $12 and $14 million. The county is footing the entire construction bill upfront in order to avoid delays. The county hopes to recoup some of the costs from the federal government later.
- It could take anywhere from 45 to 60 days to finish Chain Of Craters at the current pace of the project. Mayor Kenoi said they could speed up the work, if needed.
- Kenoi said the National Park’s plan for a one lane gravel road is “not adequate”, and said the county is working with Hawaii’s congressional delegation to get the federal government to understand the need for a two lane road instead.
- USGS has provided the county with maps plotting the lava tubes that exist across the Chain Of Craters Road.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie today issued an executive order that turns over 3.68 miles of the state-owned portion of Chain of Craters Road near Kalapana to Hawaii County.
The executive order states that the land is “hereby turned over to the County of Hawaii, in fee simple, for use as a county highway, and the County of Hawaii shall hereafter be responsible for its repair and maintenance as a county highway.”
On Sept. 15, Gov. Abercrombie signed a supplemental emergency proclamation to include the repair, restorations, rebuilding, or reestablishment of Chain of Craters Road, for use as an alternate emergency route should the June 27th lava flow cross Highway 130 near Pahoa and isolate communities in lower Puna from the rest of Hawaii County. That proclamation, a supplement to the original emergency proclamation signed on Sept. 5, also extended the disaster emergency relief period through Dec. 1, 2014.
The original proclamation suspended certain laws as needed for emergency purposes, including state restrictions on reestablishing abandoned roads that may be used should lava cross Highway 130. It also activated the Major Disaster Fund set aside by the state Legislature for disaster relief and facilitates access to emergency resources at the state and federal levels.Office of the Governor media release on Oct. 1, 2014