Governor David Ige and other officials held a joint news conference regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope, which says will begin construction next week.

Just last month, Governor Ige announced that a notice to proceed (NTP) was issued to the University of Hawaii at Hilo for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea.

 

Wednesday, Ige announced that construction on the project will begin July 15.

“We have followed a 10-year process to get this point, and the day for construction to begin has arrived. At this time our number one priority is everyone’s safety. As construction begins, I continue to be committed to engaging with people holding all perspectives on this issue and to making meaningful changes that further contribute to the co-existence of culture and science on Mauna Kea," said Ige.

 

The Department of Transportation says construction for project will mean lane restrictions on Daniel K. Inouye Highway, and Mauna Kea Access Road will be closed as it will require heavy equipment going up mountain.

Starting July 15, hunting units A, K, and G in the Mauna Kea Forest Reserve area will be temporarily closed as well. 

To view the full timeline of events click here.

Project leaders say the project will be groundbreaking in astronomy. 

 Officials say they are preparing for potential arrests if people illegally protest the construction on Mauna Kea.

“We acknowledge those who disagree with our project and express our respect for their views. Lastly, we are grateful for our many friends and supporters in the community during this journey. We also thank our project partners for their steadfast commitment to build the Thirty Meter Telescope in Hawai‘i," said Henry Yang, Ph.D., Chair, TIO Board of Governors.