Mauna Kea summit road to remain closed

Photo: University of Hawaii

The University of Hawaii announced Monday that the Mauna Kea summit road, beginning at the Halepohaku mid-level facilities, will remain closed to all but authorized personnel until further notice.

The university’s Office of Mauna Kea Management is currently assessing damage to the road and stability of the slopes for potential rock falls.

UH exercised its authority under the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan to close the road last week due to hazardous conditions. They included the presence of boulders on the road, rock walls that fully obstructed the road in some areas and the erection of two ahu in the road. The obstructions prevented the university from grading the road, a necessary road safety procedure performed twice weekly.

“We do intend to enforce the laws on Mauna Kea so yes, if they are there illegally, we will be enforcing the law,” said Gov. David Ige.

The Visitor Information Station at the 9,200 foot level is also closed until further notice for health and safety reasons.

The rock obstructions were placed across the road last week in protest of the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.

In a prepared statement from director of media production Dan Meisenzahl, “UH agrees with Governor Ige’s concerns that actions that unlawfully obstruct the road to the summit are unacceptable. UH supports the governor’s wish to open a safe roadway to all.”

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