Work to reopen Highway 132 on Hawaii Island continues as deadline approaches

Work to reopen Highway 132 on Hawaii Island continues as deadline approaches

HAWAII ISLAND, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - More than a year after lava consumed a portion of Highway 132 on Hawaii Island, county officials report significant progress is being made.

Authorities say, rough grading work for the upper section of the highway is now complete, but not for the lower section.

Fine grading still needs to be finished for both.

There is also some work that needs to be done to an existing section of the highway within the Kipuka, an area of Puna that was completely surrounded by lava in the 2018 eruption.

The work on that section includes clearing roadside brush, improving road striping, and signage.

Crews are trying to meet an Oct. 5 deadline that would allow for full reimbursement of the project from the federal government.

As crews proceed with the work, they are still discovering some pockets of hardened lava with elevated temperatures anywhere between 400 and 700 degrees Fahrenheit.

Officials say, the lower section, which is currently being excavated, will have less time to cool.

They are asking for an extension.

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