Pahoa Village route may open again by Thursday

Pahoa Village route may open again by Thursday

According to the county's Civil Defense chief, the most direct route to Pahoa Village from Hilo and upper Puna is supposed to be open by Thursday.

"We're shooting for Thanksgiving to have Pahoa Village Road open. Apaa Street will remain closed (except for) local traffic only, because we're not allowing traffic up to where the flow crossed Apaa Street and the transfer station", said Civil Defense Director Darryl Oliveira in Monday's media briefing.

Adding to it, Oliveira said that few more days will be needed to remove the deposited material and make it safe for people to travel.

According to Oliveira, Electric Light Co. crew is helping to remove the cinder-based insulation material from around the base of utility poles that is considered to be in the path of the lava flow.

Oliveira spoke to their supervisor in the field and he told that they would have a street sweeper at the place by Monday, which indicates that most of the material around the poles has been removed.

The street will be inspected by the county's Department of Public Works Traffic Division to identify any possible traffic issues or risk. Oliveira asked residents and visitors not to stop by the roadside to capture images or to stare.

Oliveira said that they will open the road to reduce traffic concerns and for access, but people stopping to take pictures can create problems for the traffic and should not do it. Plans are in process to set up a lava viewing area at the Pahoa Transfer Station.

Officials are working with police on a traffic management plan with partners, including the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

Monday morning's Civil Defense assessment depicted active lava breakouts on the June 27 flow between 3.5 and 6 miles upslope of Apaa Street.