(BIVN) – The work to restore the Puna highway buried by lava from the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea volcano is nearly complete.
Paving on the lower section of the restored Highway 132 is now complete, the Hawaiʻi County Department of Public Works says.
The DPW posted this update tp Facebook on October 3:
While both the upper and lower portions of the road have been paved, there are still several safety measures that have to be put in place before the road can be opened, including shoulder dressing, striping and signage. Plus the Federal Highway Administration (FWHA) and Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT) must complete an inspection to ensure safety before the road can be opened.
Hawaii County Department of Public Works anticipates reopening Highway 132 in November. Both portions of the road will be opened at the same time based on progress made to date, completion of the remaining work, and as conditions allow.
“Asphalt surface temperatures are being monitored,” DPW wrote on Sept. 30. “Highest current reading is about 160 F.”
Originally, the County had to finish the road by October 5 in order to qualify for 100% federal reimbursement from the Federal Highway Administration, but the volcanic rock that was erupted in summer of 2018 was still too hot too apply the pavement. The Department of Public Works DPW requested and received a three-month extension from FHWA. The new deadline is January 5, 2020.
Meanwhile, eruption recovery continues in other ways. Two Speak Out events are set for this weekend.
TONIGHT: A Youth SpeakOut will be held at Pāhoa High School cafeteria (Friday, October 4th) from 4:45 p.m.- 8 p.m. “This event will feature a Youth Panel with students from high schools across Puna, Mayor Kim and Council members Ashley Keirkiewicz and Sue Lee Loy will also be in attendance! There will also be food and STEM Activities,” Hawaiʻi County says. “Collect enough stamps from visiting each recovery station on your Passport to Resilience and you could win a variety of fun giveaways!”
TOMORROW: Recovery Community SpeakOut will be held at Pāhoa High School cafeteria (Saturday, October 5) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. “The event for individuals to drop-in throughout the day and participate for as long or little as they like,” Hawaiʻi County says. “Come Speakout, learn, share, and establish community connections to build resilience in Puna and across the island!”