(BIVN) – Beach Road, connecting the Kapoho area of lower Puna to Hawaiian Beaches via a scenic shoreline drive, has been paved in anticipation of it becoming a needed evacuation route.
Beach Road could become the only way in and put of lower Puna if Highway 132 and Highway 130 are lost to lava flows or severe cracking.
Many of the Puna residents who attended Friday’s blessing ceremony had opposed the paving of the road in the past, but have changed their mind under the current circumstances.
“I was on the ‘not pave it’ side for many, many years,” said State Senator Russell Ruderman. “Today, so much has changed in our community and we really did need it to be paved.”
“I think they did a really good job of paving it without changing its character,” Ruderman said of the county project. “They didn’t knock down a bunch of trees. They didn’t overdo it. I think its going to be a blessing for those who live along here.”
The blessing was done by Kahu Piilani Kaawaloa.