(BIVN) – There is a new Mauna Loa eruption viewing traffic pattern established off the Daniel K. Inouye Highway.
Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense administrator Talmadge Magno announced on Thursday during a media briefing that officials have come up with a traffic mitigation plan that will allow motorists a safe way to drive up the Saddle for a view of the active lava flows.
A short time later, the County provided the details – and a map – of the new traffic pattern.
From the County of Hawaiʻi:
Mayor Mitch Roth announces a traffic hazard mitigation route (THMR) along the Daniel K. Inouye Highway to help relieve growing safety concerns due to increased traffic as a result of the ongoing Mauna Loa eruption. The one-way THMR utilizes the old saddle road, with the entrance located directly across from the Gilbert Kahele Recreation Area. The route spans 4.5 miles from the entryway to a junction point located just before Puʻuhuluhulu. To adequately direct traffic flow, signage, barricades, and safety officers will be on the scene. The use of the THMR is specific to passenger vehicles only. Commercial vehicles are prohibited from entering the THMR. Parking will only be allowed on the right side of the THMR and no vehicle can remain in the area for more than 90 minutes.
“We are humbled to have come together with our State and Federal partners to find a potential solution to the ongoing safety concerns along Saddle Road,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “Our teams have worked tirelessly to keep the community safe through this eruption, and through the creation of the traffic hazard mitigation route, we believe that there will be significantly less risk to our community.”
Creation of the THMR would not be possible without the support of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Department of Hawaiian Homelands, Governor David Ige, Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, and Lt. Col. Kevin Cronin at the Pōhakuloa Training Area.
Motorists are still asked to drive with extreme caution, as the roadway will remain busy through the eruption.
The Gilbert Kahele Recreational Area, including both the lower and upper bathrooms, will remain open 24-hrs a day until further notice. Security guards will be on-site nightly from 6:15 pm – 6:15 am.