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New emergency route in case lava crosses Hwy 130 is almost ready - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

New emergency route in case lava crosses Hwy 130 is almost ready

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Remove old lava, lay down gravel, repeat.

Construction crews from Good Fellow Brothers have been working since Wednesday on the stretch of road that will lead out of Kalapana to Highway 11: Chain of Craters Road away from flowing lava.

"We're making sure we have this in our back pocket, it helps us make sure that the community knows they're taken care of," Ed Sniffen, Dept. director of highways for the DOT said.

One of the major areas of concern for Hawaii county officials and residents of the lava affected areas is the status of Highway 130.

If lava crosses it, residents of Kalapana and other parts of lower Puna could get stuck with no way out. That's why Hawaii's Department of Transportation is working with the National Park Service, who has jurisdiction over this area, contracted the construction crew to smooth it out.

The whole project costs $120,000.

Some 40-mile stretch of the road will only be open when the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency says so. They still have not made that call.

"I got to say that this is an emergency route only so if we lose highway 130, we still will have access to this area for our residents in this area to make sure that they can evacuate," Sniffen said. 

DOT said there are no new cracks on Highway 130. However, steam was seen rising from existing ones. They'll monitor the situation and make the call when its time. Officials are also working on another alternate emergency route to Highway 130, from north of Kamaili Road where Sanford's service center is to Alaili Road. 

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