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Hawaiʻi County to Start Road and Water Line Pohoiki Road and Highway 137 Projects in 2023

by Thunda

On Friday, March 18, 2022, the County’s Department of Public Works, Department of Water Supply, Planning Department’s Disaster Recovery Division and Council Member Ashley Kierkiewicz (District 4) convened a virtual meeting with 50 community members to report on the status of restoring road and water infrastructure impacted by the 2018 Kīlauea volcanic eruption. Participants received information on project milestones achieved to date and anticipated timeframes for construction to occur.

“As we look ahead to four years since the 2018 Kīlauea eruption we recognize how important this information is to communities who are still feeling the effects of this event,” said the Disaster Recovery Officer Douglas Nam Le with the County’s Planning Department. “We are acting with urgency and diligence to move these investments in road and water infrastructure forward. The County appreciates the close coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) since the end of the eruption which has been critical to this progress.”

“It seems that the internal blockages have been cleared, County is in direct communication with FEMA, and road restoration is finally on track,” said Council Member Kierkiewicz. “I appreciate Water Supply’s willingness to coordinate its projects with Public Works so infrastructure work can be done as quickly and efficiently as possible. While all of this is taking much longer than we all hoped, I sincerely wish that should any further issues arise throughout the process, they be quickly shared and resolved because (the) community is desperate to have reasonable access back to their homes, farms, and recreational areas.”

In January 2022, FEMA began the Environmental Assessment for road and waterline restoration along Pohoiki Road and Highway 137. The County is a partner in the Environmental Assessment process, which includes proper consultation with lineal descendants, and assessment and documentation of historic, archaeological, and environmentally sensitive resources, including any impacts and mitigation actions. It is anticipated that the Environmental Assessment will be completed in January 2023.

What’s Next

Construction for these road and water line projects is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023 and will be delivered through four coordinated projects. The anticipated construction start and completion time frames are detailed below:

  1. Combined Road and Water Line Projects along Pohoiki Road and Highway 137:
    • Lava-Inundated Upper Pohoiki Road
      • Construction Start: Quarter 4, 2023
      • Construction Completion: Quarter 3,  2024
    • Lower Pohoiki Road to Highway 137
      • Construction Start: Quarter 3,  2024
      • Construction Completion: Quarter 2,  2025
    • Highway 137 from Pohoiki Road to Kapoho Beach Road
      • Construction Start: Quarter 2 2025
      • Construction Completion: Quarter 4,  2025
  2. Highway 137 from Four Corners to Kapoho Beach Road
    • Construction Start: Quarter 4,  2023
    • Construction Completion: Quarter 2, 2024
  3. Highway 137 from Mackenzie to Pohoiki Road
    • Construction Start: Quarter 4,  2023
    • Construction Completion: Quarter 2, 2024
  4. Lighthouse Road
    • Construction Start: Quarter 4,  2023
    • Construction Completion: Quarter 2, 2024

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